Ask Atheists, Christians, Shiites and Ahmadis: Indonesia Is No Model for Muslim Democracy
Andreas Harsono | May 23, 2012
Source: Jakarta Globe.
It is fashionable these days for Western leaders to praise Indonesia as a model Muslim democracy. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said: “If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia.” And last month Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, lauded Indonesia for showing that “religion and democracy need not be in conflict.”
BUT WHAT IS THE REALITY ?
The rights of religious and ethnic minorities are routinely trampled. While the Constitution protects religious freedom, regulations against blasphemy and proselytizing are often used to prosecute atheists, Bahais, Christians, Shiites, Sufis and members of the Ahmadiyah faith, a minority Muslim sect. By 2010, Indonesia had over 150 religiously motivated regulations restricting minorities’ rights.