Saturday, December 10, 2016

NORMALIZING INTOLERANCE?


By Halida Putri Widyastuti

Pengantar:
Sahabat, di bawah ini saya posting status anak saya, Lily, di TLnya, yg saya rasa menarik. Sebagai warganegara Indonesia, ia menyikapi fenomena primordialisme dan sektarianisme di negerinya yang tercinta. Karena ia sedang sekolah di Amerika, statusnya dibuat dlm bahasa Inggris. Semoga bermanfaat dan silakan dikomentari. Salam (MASH).

I usually try to refrain from posting inflammatory (not in the immunological sense) topic on my timeline because I don't want to be involved in "eyel-eyelan" or arguments with people on my timeline. But for the past few days, I have witnessed a lot of occurrences that underlines a disturbing trend happening in my country, namely that religious tolerance has become endangered in everyday life. Earlier this week we have witnessed the forced dispersal of Christians who were exercising their constitutionally protected right of worship in Bandung, with a flimsy excuse of "being over the time limit" (yeah, right. Careful dude your bigotry's showing). If that wasn't bad enough, it seemed like the local government didn't think this blatant violation of human rights is NBD. Like the flash flood that occured in that same province a couple of months ago. But it's cool, as long as we pray it'll work itself out.

A couple of days after that I got another news from my father that a Christian university in Jogja, Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW), is being forced to take down their billboard ad because it featured a muslim girl wearing a hijab. Some people think it's inappropriate because UKDW, a Christian university, is using the image of a Muslim woman. Seriously? Since when is it forbidden to use an image for advertisement? What is really bothering you? The fact that it's a Christian university that is using it? What the heck do you think would happen by them using this image? News flash, dude: just because it's a Christian university doesn't mean only Christians go there. As evidenced by the post attached, there have been many Muslims educated by this university. Even my own father has been invited to guest lecture here on several occasions. (https://www.brilio.net/serius/curhat-alumni-ukdw-soal-penurunan-baliho-mahasiswi-berjilbab-ini-viral-1612081.html).

Are you afraid that there's gonna be "forced conversion" if Muslims attend this school? News flash: that NEVER happens. Speaking from personal experience as a Muslim girl who went to a Catholic high school and graduated from it, nothing of the sort ever happens. If anything, everyone there was super nice and respectful to me. They actually want to know more about Islam because they never have a Muslim student before. They treated me like a human being, and I never felt like I was a "minority" there. I was just one of the students, and I received the same education as my Catholic classmates, and I have the same responsibilities as them as well. They never force me to attend weekly mass, and they never tried to convert me.

You always like to quote Al Kafirun's last verse, "For you is your religion, and for me is my religion." That verse is a call for people to live side by side, in harmony, despite their differences in beliefs, not a call to shun people who don't have the same beliefs as you, or even to deny them their basic human rights. This might seem like a small incident, but it isn't too far fetched to think that in the near future more segregation between religions would occur. Judging by today's trend where intolerance between religions is becoming common occurrence, we better stay vigilant of these forces or we might as well be heading to the Dark Ages.

Okay enough ranting. And if I lose friends because of this post, so be it. Good riddance!!.
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