The recent incident on Eid at Tolikara, Papua, has cost one’s life and scores of others were injured due to gun shots whilst dozens of stalls and a mosque were caught in fire.
Director of CRCS (Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies) of UGM Graduate School, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, saw every conflict that uses religious symbols needs to be interpreted that every conflict does not have a single cause. Usually, there are many other causes.
“Religious conflict is not always about religion. In our report on local politics and religious conflicts, all religious conflicts show this characteristic, for instance, the unification of local political interest using (manipulating) religious symbols,” he said on Thursday (23/7).
Zainal said in the Tolikara incident, the main context is complexity and vulnerabilities of Papua problems in general. These vulnerabilities are often responded by security authorities in a repressive manner using weapons to hurt or kill.
Tolikara itself is a politically-risky regency as emerged in the local elections back in February 2015.
The CRCS saw, said Zainal, that the main issue of “Papua vulnerabilities” are actually far from religious issues.
“Our discussion in 2013 along with STAIN Papua that involved senior religious figures showed that –instead- religion is the source of social modalities for peace,” he said.
In Papua, the source of polarisation is between those coming to Papua to settle and the Papua indigenous people. The contribution to be made is not to exacerbate the case. Positive information is what is required.
“Papua has often been the place of violence, so, dialogue needs to be prioritised. Without this, it is difficult for us to talk about the Unitary Republic of Indonesia,” Zainal concluded.