As an Australian, I often hear that Indonesia is a ‘democracy’ even by our Western standards, and therefore that subsequent criticism of Islam is unwarranted.
However, in all fairness, if this fantasy were indeed true, then maybe it would lessen the negativity that some hold towards Islam. Maybe.
Nonetheless, facts suggest that the case for Indonesia being tolerant and this meaning that Islam is also peaceful by association, is nothing but an idealistic utopia, dreamt up by the visitors of party areas such as Bali and Jakarta.
As beyond these undeniably modern, liberal elements to current- day Indonesia, exists a darker, concealed side, which contains practices more comparable to the 7th century than those of any legitimate democracy. So while tolerant, tourist- friendly areas of the nation do exist; Islamist- leaning beliefs and practices also have their place.
To deny these uncomfortable circumstances of Indonesia would be to distort reality. As in truth, the country is torn between multiple identities, but this should not be confused with equating the nation to a Western democracy.
The late, great Winston Churchill, once summed up this combination of influences among Islam and its followers, which largely resembles that of modern Indonesia.
“Some Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.”
But if Britain’s finest product isn’t persuasive enough, please consider the below article the next time you hear about ‘moderate’ Islamic countries including Indonesia.
“Muslim woman screams out in pain as she is caned 23 times in Indonesia for ‘standing too close to her boyfriend'”, dailymail, October 18 2016:
Heart-wrenching images show a screaming young woman flogged in front of a jeering crowd for breaking Islamic laws as floggings reportedly spike in Indonesian province.
An unidentified woman screamed out in pain as she was caned 23 times in Indonesia’s Aceh for breaking the province’s strict Islamic law forbidding intimacy between unmarried couples.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that enforces sharia law and people face floggings for a range of offences, including gambling, drinking alcohol and gay sex.
She was one of 13 people – aged between 21-30 – to be flogged on Monday at a mosque.
The woman was allegedly caught standing too close to her boyfriend.
The six couples were found guilty of breaking Islamic law that bans intimacy – no touching, hugging and kissing – between unmarried people.
One man was even caned for spending time with a member of the opposite sex in a private location, which could lead to adultery.
One of the offenders, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, was not flogged on Monday but was warned the punishment will be enforced after she has given birth.
With a reported increase in floggings of women, Daily Mail reported Nur Elita was marched to the yard of Baiturrahumim Mosque in Banda Aceh at the end of last year and received five lashes.
Ms Elita keeled over in pain at the end of her lashings as she had to be carried off stage and taken to hospital.
She received her harsh floggings for getting to close to a fellow university student – who was also whipped.