Jewish Group Gives Tolerance Award to Indonesian Leader Blamed for Crackdown

Forward.com: Indonesian human rights activists are protesting an American Jewish organization’s plans to give Indonesia’s president an award for religious freedom — a freedom that human rights monitors say has sharply deteriorated under his rule.

The annual award, given by Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s Appeal of Conscience Foundation, has no significant profile in the United States. But in Indonesia, Schneier’s decision to give the award to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been the subject of street protests, newspaper articles, and angry statements by major national figures.

“He has laid down the legal infrastructure of the discrimination against religious minorities,” said Andreas Harsono, a Jakarta-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, of Yudhoyono.

According to recent Human Rights Watch reports, persecution against religious minorities, including non-Sunni Muslims and Christians, has burgeoned under the current president’s leadership. A recent U.S. State Department report faulted the Indonesian government for failing to protect religious minorities.

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2 replies

  1. Interesting! Indonesia’s Jewish population consists of only one family and total number of Jews in Indonesia is twenty.
    Is the award based on how well the Jews are being tolerated or how well the rest of the minorities are being tolerated?

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