‘Tempo’ criticizes Gerindra and Prabowo’s views on religions as stated in its political manifesto

gerindra prabowo-dan-lambanggerindra

Then, the views of Gerindra and Prabowo on religion also merits some scrutiny. The manifesto says, “The state is called upon to guarantee the purity of the instruction of those religions recognized by the state, by ensuring their teachings are not tainted or deviate.”

The big question is, what is meant by ‘penista’ (deviate) and deviation of religious instruction? Does the state have the right to determine when a religion has been ‘humiliated’? When discrimination continues to beset followers of Ahmadiyah and the Shia, those questions take on special importance. Does this mean that if Prabowo becomes president, he will choose to continue such discrimination?

Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo Subianto

Part of the answer to the question was reported in Twitter, a channel of Prabowo’s and Gerindra’s campaigning. One Twitter user asked: will followers of the Ahmadiyah, Shia, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses be embraced or sidelined? Admin@Gerindra, the party’s official account responded: “All Indonesian citizens must be protected. If they stand on the wrong path, we will create an institution to make them ‘jera’ [wary].”

Even though that response was later corrected by saying that the word jera was not meant in the negative sense, the phrase ‘to make them jera’ clearly opposes the Constitution. In Article 29, Chapter 2 of our basic law it says, “the State guarantees the freedom of every citizen to follow the religion of his or her choice and to worship according to their respective religion and faith.”

Whatever happens, the steps taken by Gerindra and Prabowo to disseminate their vision and mission deserve appreciation. Whether we agree or not with them, is another question. At least, from that manifesto we have an idea of what kind of president he is likely to be if he wins the elections in July. (*)

Thursday, 01 May, 2014

Prabowo during  Gerindra political campaign at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta.

Prabowo during Gerindra political campaign at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta.



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