Proceedings of 1st International Conference of Law and Justice - Good Governance and Human Rights in Muslim Countries: Experiences and Challenges (ICLJ 2017)

Treating Religious Minority (Un)justly: Problems and Challenges of Regulating Freedom of Religion in Indonesia

Authors
Masdar Hilmy
Corresponding Author
Masdar Hilmy
Available Online November 2017.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/iclj-17.2018.38How to use a DOI?
Keywords
Neutral Policy; Religious Minority; Freedom; Indonesia
Abstract
On paper, Indonesia adopts a neutral policy towards religion. It is widely upheld that Indonesia is neither secular nor religious (theocratic) country. The idea of freedom of religion is also explicitly guaranteed by its constitution, UUD 1945. This country further acknowledges and ratifies the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that guarantees the freedom of religion. The ideal formulation of freedom of religion, however, does not stand on a firm ground. The violent attacks on minority groups and sects—especially on Ahmadis—become a real case in point where the issue of freedom of religion is really at stake in this country. In response to Ahmadis existence, the government released the 2008 joint Ministerial degree that ironically restricts the idea of freedom of religion. The government's policy towards the Ahmadis is responded differently by governors in provincial level. Some governors translate it as an entry point of banning the Ahmadis religious activities. This is the case with West and East Java provinces where the governors in both provinces have released a governor's instruction to outlaw all kinds of Ahmadis religious activities and propagations. The governor of Yogyakarta, however, stands consistently by suggesting the non-interventionist policies towards the Ahmadis. This paper seeks to analyse the complex issue of freedom of religion in Indonesia with special reference to the state's policies towards the Ahmadi community. It attempts at answering the extent to which the idea of freedom of religion is exercised in the public sphere. The preliminary assumption developed throughout the paper is that political "cohabitation" between the majority interests and those of the governing formal leaders as a result of democratization process can risk the freedom of religion among different religious communities and thus jeopardize the non-interventionist policy of the state towards religion.
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This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license.

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Cite this article

TY  - CONF
AU  - Masdar Hilmy
PY  - 2017/11
DA  - 2017/11
TI  - Treating Religious Minority (Un)justly: Problems and Challenges of Regulating Freedom of Religion in Indonesia
BT  - 1st International Conference of Law and Justice - Good Governance and Human Rights in Muslim Countries: Experiences and Challenges (ICLJ 2017)
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 183
EP  - 187
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/iclj-17.2018.38
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/iclj-17.2018.38
ID  - Hilmy2017/11
ER  -