Who do you call "locals", Dan? What about the Christians who were born in Aceh?
The sort of secular intervention I am speaking of would include a government that ensures religious pluralism (not just a handful of religions) while also supporting the rights of religious groups, particularly the religious majority, to pursue optional mediation of disputes using religious law (halakha, shari'a). What I mean by optional is that the parties agree to forgo a secular court in favor of a religious court, if both don't agree then all disputes go to a secular court by default. The existence of religious police (the WH here in Aceh) can be maintained as they already exist, to enforce the shari'a solely upon Muslims to uphold our traditions and values.
This way, anyone who complains about a supposedly "pathological" (no one here has done so) nature of Islam can be happy in the knowledge that we will keep our customs and juristic traditions to ourselves. Such a competing legal system exists in many places in the West such as Amish communities (who tend to use their own arbitration for disputes) and Orthodox Jews (ditto). Beth Din (Jewish courts) in the UK and America are even able to pass legally binding rulings in some cases (usually just marriage).
I don't know of any examples where these religions coexisted peacefully without the influence of a secular government or a strongman politician/dictator. There's plenty of examples where those relationships went tits up in a matter of weeks very suddenly with a collapse of order. It's in everyone's best interest that they coexist, and I will reiterate that I think that other ideologies are far more dangerous to human survival. Unfortunately, even through the 20th century there were millions killed in religiously motivated slaughter. This is because while our laws and understanding of governance can change, God's Laws are said to be immutable. True, there can be preference in interpretation (which I heartily support, it must be pliable), but for the truly fanatical there is one way (buffered by the belief in one God ergo one way to worship him).
For the last question, yes, I think it would be healthiest for people to understand the nature of monotheism so they can rationally address their relationship with one another. In a sense, it is a product of "poor education" (sorry, Hombre) in that the two (or more) don't actually know much about what the other really believes. For example, my students would probably believe me if I told them that I saw a Jew sport vampire fangs and tentacles. They already believe that they're all international financiers. Have they ever actually met a Jewish person? No, and they don't understand the similarities or relationship between the two religions. Education about the faiths and interaction can probably help, but only so much. They require an outside force to ensure that they remain civil.
Who do you call "locals", Dan? What about the Christians who were born in Aceh?
Aceh can not be the model for other parts of Javanesia...sorry, I mean...Indonesia because its history, religion and politics are unique. By the same token, like it or not, for good or for bad, Aceh--however special and however autonomous--is still part of Indonesia so it must abide by certain national standards. That is the letter and spirit of the Helsinki MoU. Aceh can no more expect Indonesia to respect the MoU than it itself can ignore the MoU. The MoU provided for Islam to become the official provincial religion and for the provincial government to enact Sharia for its Muslim population. The MoU did not provide for the provincial government to repress and chase out religious minorities. A certain political grouping in Aceh is fond of accusing Jakarta of violating the MoU while it has no problems trampling it too.
Last edited by Hombre de Maiz; 30-10-12 at 14:58.
When our founding fathers were declaring Indonesia as an independent nation, they adopted Pancasila.
Our founding fathers whose religion was Islam (representing Java and Sumatra) were proposing the first principle in Pancasila as "Ketuhanan dengan kewajiban menjalankan syariat Islam bagi pengikut-pengikutnya” or believing in God with the obligation to carry out sharia for the followers. - pardon for the translation
Our founding fathers whose religion was not Islam (representing Borneo, Sulawesi, Irian, Bali and Timor), disagree with this principle and negotiate (some say threatened to pull out from becoming part of Indonesia) and after some long debate, almost everyone agree to revise it and so it becomes "Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa" or believing in (one) God.
This is where it all begins. I am hoping the majority (Moslems) in Indonesia can understand it and no longer abuse the minority by obtruding or repressing.
Last edited by henry_mariono; 30-10-12 at 17:10.
I don't know if any polls or hard evidence exists that supports my anecdotal experience living here concerning Acehnese perception of Christians living and proselytizing in Aceh. For the Christians who are born here I'm sure that they are all in opposition to church closings.
That's right, Henry. As I've explained in other threads, at the time of the founding of the republic in the 1940s, the Founding Fathers originally included the Jakarta Charter in the Constitution. The Jakarta Charter called for an Islamic regime for the country's Muslims. Many, particularly those from the Outer Islands, and the abangan and liberal Muslims, objected to the Jakarta Charter, and threatened to pull out of Indonesia (I think it was was called RUSI, the Republic of the United States of Indonesia, back in those days). The withdrawal of the Jakarta Charter paved the way for the birth of the country.
To insist on an Islamic regime, even for Muslims, is to renege on that fundamental compromise and good faith understanding upon which the republic was founded. Aceh was a fudge, an outlier, a concession needed to make peace. This, along with a clear-eyed reading of the country's history, is what the Acehnese and Islamists must understand.
Last edited by Hombre de Maiz; 31-10-12 at 12:59.
Insistence on an Islamic regime mirroring that of the early Muslims is to insist on a failed state. The Taliban also believed that they could resurrect the Islamic state. Mullah Omar gave himself the title "Commander of the Faithful", the title of the Caliph. Accordingly, the Taliban tried to run their government the way the Rashidun did things. For example, instead of formulating a budget they just assigned a treasurer and took money as needed. Needless to say they didn't do much that was productive.
A group with similar aspirations is Hizb ut-Tahrir. They seek a global Ummah government, though I am unsure that they seek khalifa. Such a unified Islamic country is certainly an appealing idea, it also isn't well rooted in the actual borders and conflicts and politics that actually exist in the world today. I'd like to add that they have a LOT of members in Indonesia, most Muslim majority countries have banned it.
Speaking of Daud Bereueh, it think the Acehnese leadership made a miscalculation of epic proportions when they chose to join Indonesia. You will recall that the Dutch, knowing fully well the futility of holding on to Aceh, did not even attempt to send in troops to recapture it after WWII. Further, the internal revolution pretty much dismantled the Dutch colonial order. Effectively, Aceh was independent from 1945 to 1949. Contrast this with the situation of Java and the republican government which was under siege or on the run. Unlike the military situation in Aceh, the republic was never able to defeat or hold the Dutch at bay militarily.
Last edited by Hombre de Maiz; 01-11-12 at 08:05.
By the same token, a Javanese person cannot simply become Acehnese because he was born here. That Javanese person may also quite frankly not identify as being Acehnese. It's not his ethnicity. To suggest that he is a native might be insulting to him.
I'm an American, for us it's different. You're born in a particular city or region and you're a native. I'm from a settler society where my ancestors came to the Americas in the 17th century of their own choosing and ended up getting a very mixed and amorphous identity. Good for me, but that doesn't translate to how people in this part of the world view themselves. There's no need to try to rewrite the meaning of indigenous from the standpoint of anthropology in a game of semantics.
Consider how well some members of the Lakota nation did when they said they wanted to pull out of a treaty with America. They were pretty much laughed at, they have no clout or numbers to pull it off. Papua is coming up on the same problem. They've been replaced, they've been ethnically cleansed. I don't want the same to happen to Aceh.