YOGYAKARTA – The Government is seen as having failed in its role in resolving acts of violence and attacks that are based on religious issues. Such violence that cannot be effectively handled and that happens repetitiously has bad impacts on interfaith relations in the country. The findings by the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies/CRCS) UGM in 2010 found at least 20 cases, outside the recent Ahmadiyah case, on religious vilification.
Some of the cases brought acts of violence to the forefront, including violations of civil, political and economic rights of Ahmadiyah group in Mataram, also the attack on Ahmadiyah group in Manis Lor Kuningan. “Until now there is no legal process taken for the case,” said Director of CRCS, Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, submitting the annual report on religious life in Indonesia in 2010, Friday (11/2). Also present in the event was CRCS researcher, Suhadi Cholil.
The violence based on a religion is committed by certain mass organizations, particularly in the attacks on houses of worship, attacks on groups seen as heretical, and on events run by different sexual orientation groups. Although each individual and group has the right to express their aspirations, disagreement to certain values should be expressed in a more civilised manner while respecting other citizens. “The mass organizations doing violence should not be disbanded because the disbanding will open ways to authoritarianism. It is more important to handle the violence aspects,” he said.
During the year 2010, acts of violence still happened in the issue of establishment of house of worship. A CRCS report found that 39 places were still debated, mostly churches being debated by some Muslims. It is interesting that 70% of the cases were concentrated in West Java, DKI Jakarta, and Banten. It is unfortunate that 17 physical cases have occurred in the case. "Some of the conflict on house of worship ended in violence. House of worship case doubled in 2010 than in 2009 which was only 18 cases,” Suhadi Cholil said.
Establishment permit is still the main trigger of cases on house of worship. As many as 24 cases have no permit while 4 other have permit but these are still debated. “In fact, the issue of house of worship does not only relate to religious harmony but also religious freedom,” he said.
Besides, according to Suhadi, CRCS found out religious politization during 2010 in the form of candidacy, selection of candidate partners, efforts of political party in working with religious mass organizations and leaders up to the use of religious text to support or destroy a candidate. “This religious politization is not obviously effective in getting votes, in many cases it appeared to have caused polarization between members of community,” he said.