The Jakarta Post:
As Indonesia’s global reputation as a model for Muslim democracy deteriorates due to rising intolerance, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made his strongest remark in his state-of-the-nation address on Friday to defend the
The President, however, stopped short of mentioning the plight of Shia and Ahmadiyah followers in facing religious persecution. “I would like to remind the people that the state fully guarantees the existence of individual or minority groups,” Yudhoyono said in his speech, which was delivered to commemorate the 68th anniversary of independence at the House of Representatives.
“We cannot justify imposition of belief by the any religious group on a minority, especially by using threats, intimidation and violence,” he said, adding that every citizen should uphold the Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion.
Indonesia, he said, is a pluralistic country and the people should take it as a blessing in order to be able to manage it. “We have to prevent communal clashes and violence, which may disrupt peace in our society as well as our national unity,” he said.