The Government Must Proactively Protect the Constitutional Rights of the Ahmadiyya Congregation

Editor: Karyudi Sutajah Putra

Jakarta, - Discrimination against the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation (JAI) has again escalated in several places, such as in Sintang District (West Kalimantan), Parakansalak, Sukabumi District (West Java), and Gowa District (South Sulawesi).

Last Thursday (26/1/2023), the Sintang Regency Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda) issued an agreement requesting the Sintang Regency Government to issue a Circular Letter (SE) of the Regent banning Ahmadiyya activities. Meanwhile, on Thursday (2/2/2023), the Sukabumi Regency Forkopimda stated that it would stop construction and seal the Ahmadiyah place of worship in Parakansalak. On the same date, banners rejecting Ahmadiyya activities were observed at several points in Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi.

Setara Institute strongly condemns the occurrence of various discrimination and intolerance against the Indonesian Ahmadiyya Congregation (JAI), especially those carried out by Forkopimda. “The JAI Right to Freedom of Religion/Belief (KBB) is guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution, especially Article 28E paragraphs (1) and (2) and Article 29 paragraph (2). Therefore, the central government and local governments (including Forkopimda) must be proactive in protecting and guaranteeing these constitutional rights, instead of restricting and discriminating against them," Deputy Chairperson of the Setara Institute Bonar Tigor Naipospos alias Choky told, Saturday (4/4) 2/2023).

Choky also urged President Joko Widodo to show concrete action. President Jokoei, he said, must ensure that his directives in the Regional Government and Forkopimda National Coordination Meeting, January 17, 2023, regarding the guarantees of the 1945 Constitution regarding the right to religion and worship, are actually carried out by the Regional Government, Forkopimda, and all government apparatus to uphold constitutional guarantees for all citizens, including minority groups of any religion or belief. Choky also urged Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian to reprimand the Sukabumi District Government for acting unconstitutionally by issuing discriminatory regulations and sealing Ahmadiyah places of worship.

“In the same context, the Minister of Home Affairs must reprimand the Sintang District Forkopimda and urge the Sintang Regent not to issue any circulars that discriminate against JAI as citizens. Regional governments in this Pancasila country may not act discriminatively and/or submit to pressure from certain groups that are contrary to the spirit of tolerance and freedom of religion/belief,” he pleaded. Choky also encouraged police officers in Gowa Regency to remove and order banners containing incitement and/or hate speech against JAI. “Omission of these banners will trigger a disturbance of security and undermine social cohesion. Previous precedents show that ignoring these rejection banners can lead to escalation of social conflicts, including in the form of destroying places of worship,” he explained.

Not to forget, Choky also urged the central government and local governments to always adhere to Pancasila and the constitution or the 1945 Constitution, and not to make regulations other than statutory regulations, including the fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), as basis for policy making. “We also convey a moral call to politicians, national or local, not to use anti-minority sentiment as a political tool to gain electoral incentives from the majority group. “In the same context, we urge the General Election Commission (KPU), the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), and all elements of society to push for quality 2024 elections by rejecting the politicization of identity,” he said.


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