The Stump kept thinking this was one of those Prank Reality TV shows. No sane person could consider that Indonesia’s religious tolerance has gone anywhere but backward.
Bugger me…They were Fair Dinkum..
“President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received in New York on Thursday evening the World Statesman Award from a US interfaith organization for his role in promoting religious tolerance and freedom of worship in Indonesia.
Yudhoyono was quoted by Antara news agency as saying that the award was not the result of the efforts of just one man, but that “statesmanship can be collective” and that he hopes the award would make Indonesia a prosperous and harmonious nation.
The president has been widely criticized by human rights organization over his decision to receive the award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, citing cases of religious intolerance in Indonesia, such as the shuttering of the GKI Yasmin and HKBP Filadelfia churches and the attacks on Ahmadiyah members and their mosques.
Philosophy lecturer and interfaith activist Franz Magnis Suseno sent a letter to the foundation objecting to the award. He said that Yudhoyono did not do anything significant to protect the Ahmadiyah and Shia communities, who were considered heretics by conservative Islamic groups.
“This is a shame, a shame for you. It discredits any claim you might make as an institution with moral intentions,” Franz wrote in his letter. “How can you take such a decision without asking concerned people in Indonesia? Hopefully you have not made this decision in response to prodding by people from our government or the entourage of the president.”
The son of Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama figure Imam Shofwan even made an online petition called “No Award to SBY,” calling for the foundation not to give the award.
“I grew up in a Nahdatul Ulama family, and I agree with what Prof. Magnis said. I believe that a crime committed in the name of religion is a crime against religion. Ironically, this happens to be ACF’s credo.”
In his speech, Yudhoyono said that developing peace, order and harmony does not happen without problems, according to Antara. He acknowledged that communal conflict, religious conflict and radicalism were still taking place in Indonesia, but that Indonesia was not the only country facing such problems, calling it “a global phenomenon.”
He said the Indonesian government would use several approaches to solve the problem, and that the government “would not tolerate any violence by any group in the name of the religion” and “would protect the minority” to ensure that no one would suffer discrimination.
Yudhoyono added that people might be surprised to know that there are actually 61,000 churches in Indonesia, which he said was probably more than the number of churches in the United Kingdom and Germany.”
- Presidential Officials Belligerent on ‘Intolerant’ Tweets (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Yudhoyono Defends Statesman Award as Indonesia’s Pride (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Indonesia Minorities Slam President’s Interfaith Award (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Indonesia religious award angers rights groups (mysanantonio.com)