Strengthening Inclusion as a Great PR for Nationalism and Diversity

November 11, 20220

Editor: Karyudi Sutajah Putra

Jakarta, – Indonesia still has big homework. The country’s founding fathers emphasized Indonesia’s diversity as a message from the proclamation. They have made Pancasila the meeting point, fulcrum and starting point. The heroism of our predecessors has given birth to Indonesia as a unifying identity for all of the nation’s children, as a country of one for all, all for one, and all for all.

“Strengthening inclusion for all children of the nation is a big homework for the nationality and diversity of Indonesia. Therefore, various suppression and/or limitation of human rights (HAM) and citizens, especially against minorities, should not be allowed. The state through the government needs to immediately follow up through policy instruments and other responsive actions,” said Syera Anggreini Buntara in a joint press release with the Setara Institute, the One Justice Foundation, and the Executive Board of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (PB JAI), Thursday (11/10/2022). ).

Allowing various violations of the basic rights of citizens, including freedom of religion/belief (KBB), said Syera, is clearly a betrayal of the mandate of the founders of the nation-state. “In addition, the various violations that continue to occur reflect the government’s lack of commitment to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. More specifically, it is a form of non-compliance with the mandate of the constitution,” he explained.

Joint Press Conference of the Setara Institute, One Justice Foundation, and the Executive Board of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (PB JAI) in Jakarta, Thursday (11/10/2022). (Photo: Special)

The Indonesian Constitution, said Syera, is firmly committed to protecting every citizen from discriminatory treatment on any basis as stated in Article 28 I paragraph (2) and KBB guarantees as stated in the 1945 Constitution, in particular Article 28E paragraph (1), 28I paragraph (1), and 29 paragraph (2). “In a number of cases, there have been violations of the implementation of the constitutional rights of minority groups in Indonesia, one of which is JAI. The complexity of the problems faced by JAI, ranging from stigma and exclusion, discriminatory actions and intolerant treatment, the existence of discriminatory legal products, to violence and persecution,


There were also several key findings, said Stera, as follows:

First, discrimination and intolerance against the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation (JAI) occurred openly after the fall of the New Order. The first case occurred in 1998, to be precise on October 1, 1998, when there was destruction and burning of mosques, destruction of agricultural equipment, expulsion of residents from their hometowns, accompanied by looting of property belonging to the Ahmadiyah congregation in Keranji Hamlet, Pemongkong Village, Keruak District, East Lombok. New episodes have occurred since 2002. Because the cases that occur are no longer based solely on violence. Several cases that occurred were caused by the production of legal products that directly discriminate against Ahmadiyah by the local government. In the end, in the 2007-2021 period, the Setara Institute recorded 2,929 KBB violations occurred in Indonesia. Of these,

Second, it highlights discrimination and intolerance towards JAI in several areas. Bogor Regency, Depok City, and Garut Regency can be examples of regions that have a bad precedent in discrimination and intolerance towards JAI. In Bogor Regency, for example, there was an attack on the Al-Mubarok campus, Parung, Bogor in July 2005, until the Bogor Regent Decree No. 450/135/Kpts/Per-UU/2011 concerning the Prohibition of JAI Activities in Bogor Regency which became the basis for the Bogor Regency government to prohibit activities of Lajnah Imaillah (LI) Bogor, including the construction of the Baitul Afiat Building.

Meanwhile in Depok City there have been several cases of sealing of the Al Hidayah Mosque. Likewise, in Garut Regency, the Ahmadiyya congregation’s mosque was sealed on May 6, 2021 and issued Circular Letter Number 451.1/1605/Bakesbangpol concerning the Prohibition of the Activities of Adherents of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation and the Cessation of Activities for the Development of Places of Worship of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation in Nyalindung Village, Cilawu District, Garut Regency .

However, in contrast to that, this study also found a number of regions that have a conducive climate for guaranteeing JAI’s constitutional rights. In Semarang, good communication and good relations have had positive implications for JAI’s relationship with the community and other community organizations. Not only does it not have a discriminatory legal product against Ahmadiyah, but in the joint agenda with the government, JAI Semarang City was also invited by the Central Java Provincial Government to attend the official agenda which was carried out before Covid-19.

Likewise in the city of Padang, there are no discriminatory legal products against Ahmadiyah and in almost the last decade, cases of intolerance against the Ahmadiyya congregation have never occurred.

Third, the institutionalization of discrimination and intolerance towards JAI. This study noted that there were 71 discriminatory legal products that had an impact on the derogation of JAI’s constitutional rights, both applicable at the national and local levels. The legal products recorded in this research include Legislation, State Administrative Decisions, Non-Legislation Regulations and Non Administrative Decisions.

As for the details; a) Laws and Regulations: 16 regulations covering Laws, Governor Regulations, Regent Regulations, and Mayor Regulations, b) State Administrative Decrees (KTUN): 47 policies covering Joint Decrees, Governor Decrees, Mayor Decrees, Letters Regent’s Decree, Attorney General’s Circular Letter, District Attorney’s Decree, Head of State Prosecutor’s Decree, Mayor’s Appeal Letter, Governor’s Circular Letter, c) Non-Legal Regulations and Non-KTUN: 8 legal instruments that are not included in the types of laws -invitations and KTUN which include Fatwas and Letters of the MUI Leadership Council. Discriminatory legal products against JAI are most often found in West Java Province.

Apart from West Java, there are Banten Province (5), West Nusa Tenggara Province (7), and West Kalimantan Province (6). Apart from the cities mentioned above, discriminatory legal products against JAI were also found in various other provinces in Indonesia. The triggers for intolerance and discrimination can basically be classified into two variables, namely static variables and dynamic variables. Static variables, for example, are (i) intolerant political aspirations that have existed since the founding of Indonesia which later became a strong socio-political force; and (ii) the existence of intolerant-discriminatory legal products which are a source of legitimacy and acceleration of intolerance.

Fourth, the restrictions on JAI’s religious rights contained in the provisions of regional head regulations have violated the provisions of the Human Rights Law. The prohibition norms that limit JAI’s religious rights and freedoms are clearly not in accordance with the nature of the regional head regulations. The limitation of the right to freedom of religion which has been guaranteed to be fulfilled in the constitution should not be contained in a regional head regulation, which hierarchically position is under the law.

Thus, various regional head regulations which expressly contain norms prohibiting activities or activities for the Ahmadiyya Congregation in their area are a form of ignoring the principle of “conformity between types, hierarchies, and content material” as regulated in Article 5 letter c of Law No. . 12 of 2011.

Fifth, the social inclusion of the community towards JAI or vice versa actually takes place in several contexts. Various previous studies reveal the general perception of people in various regions that JAI is exclusive because it only worships in its own mosque, does not congregate with other non-JAI Muslims, and sometimes does not participate in cultural activities in their area. However, the data show some opposite phenomena. This can be seen from JAI’s social activities – through its social organization wing called Humanity First – which are universal regardless of identity. In fact, JAI is the largest eye donor organization in Indonesia, and this eye donor is intended for the public regardless of religion.

JAI adherents are also involved in Posyandu activities, Family Welfare Development, and community service in their respective areas. Despite experiencing various cases of discrimination and intolerance, at the same time JAI also continues to build communication and establish friendships with the surrounding community. JAI visited local community leaders, regional officials, Heads of RT, RW, Lurah, Camat, Muspika, Kapolres, and others.

The congregations kept in touch, introduced themselves, and demonstrated that JAI is an organization that integrates with the community, and is part of the community that is active in various social activities, as well as in other humanitarian activities, such as blood donation.

Sixth, local and national political dynamics are often a negative factor for minority inclusion. Elections and regional elections contribute to the rise and fall of various intolerant discourses and actions. Cases were recorded from the central level to village head elections. At these moments, there was interaction between intolerant groups and candidates who would contest elections and local elections, as well as the accommodation of political deals between the two parties. In these two political moments, intolerant groups can develop strategies to seek support from the authorities. They are well aware of the need for a strategy to build political support from politicians and those in power. Political parties and politicians need voices from these groups, while intolerant groups superimpose their struggle agendas,

Seventh, the response of JAI and the central/regional government to the discrimination and intolerance that befell them. Discriminatory and intolerance actions against JAI from year to year reflect the constitutional rights of the congregation which have not been protected and fulfilled by the state.

In general, JAI’s response to various kinds of discriminatory and intolerance actions can be grouped into three, namely: (1) Remain true to their beliefs and act actively to fight for the right to freedom of religion and belief/KBB Ahmadiyah, (2) Remain true to their beliefs and accept treatment of intolerance and/or or discriminatory law; and (3) leaving Ahmadiyah due to compulsion.


In connection with these findings, there are several recommendations that need to be followed up by the state, to complete national homework, especially with regard to JAI which is often a vulnerable group and victims, said Syera, as follows.

First, President Joko Widodo should issue a presidential regulation instructing all ministries, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, to encourage local governments to implement governance that strengthens diversity and brings together diverse backgrounds in the local community, including diversity of religious identities. In that context, tolerance must become a collective ethic in pluralism and a key variable in regional development.

Second, the central government, especially the Ministry of Religion and the Ministry of Home Affairs, to increase their attention to the development of tolerance and harmony. This is very important as a form of implementing the vision of national development that is oriented towards the management of existing diversity and diversity. Local governments that have not shown good performance should be given assistance and assistance. While those that are successful, are made pilots and given awards.

Third, to the Pancasila Ideology Development Agency (BPIP), BPIP should make tolerance an institutionalized concept in development governance in Indonesia as well as a collective ethic in the governance of Indonesia’s diversity. Therefore, in various Pancasila coaching and civilizing programs, tolerance should be a variable that gets emphasis. In addition, BPIP should pay more attention to providing structural support for the practice and promotion of tolerance by local governments.

Fourth, Joint Decree of the Minister of Religion, Attorney General, and Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Number 3 of 2008, Number KEP033/A/JA/6/2008, Number 199 of 2008 concerning Warnings and Orders to Adherents, Members, and/or Members JAI administrators and community members have factually been used as tools of legitimacy and triggered intolerant groups to commit constitutional rights violations, persecution, and violence against JAI residents in several areas. So the government must evaluate and revoke the regulation.

Fifth, to the provincial/city/district governments to remove/review various discriminatory regional policies that threaten the right to freedom of religion/belief and are discriminatory. “This is very important as a form of concrete action to promote a climate of tolerance in the region. On the other hand, encourage provincial/city/district governments to issue regional policies, especially regional regulations that explicitly support tolerance and harmony and are non-discriminatory,” said Syera.



Leave a Reply