Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation
JAKARTA – The Minister of Interior, Tjahjo Kumolo, has stated that he will keep coordinating with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Lukman Hakim Saifudin, with regard to the Joint Decree/Surat Keputusan Bersama (SKB) on the Guide of Work Implementation in the Preservation of Religious Communities’ Harmony, Empowerment of Religious Communities’ Harmony Forum and Establishment of Praying Site, for both Head and Vice Head of the Reigon.
Specifically, he stated that the prerequisite of 90 people’s approval before establishing an area as a prayer site was not ideal.
“Regarding the SKB, we are continuously in contact with the Ministry of Religious Affairs. We will review this later. The permission to establish a praying site that [previously] needed 90 people must be have its reduced, if possible be omitted entirely,” said Tjahjo during a meeting with the participants of Women’s Jamboree at the Ministry of Interior building, Jakarta, on Monday 9/11.
He asserted that the state must give assurance to its people to embrace freedom for their own religion. “[No matter] where they want to pray, where they want to worship [the religion], where to build a church, where to build a mosque, [they must be] guaranteed their freedom,” he asserted.
“The people who wanted to build a church had fulfilled the majority of the requirements, but still it was banned. Why? Because this Kiai [didn’t agree to it]; and then the mosque wasn’t allowed to be built because of the Antonius. This [kind of thing] still happens in Indonesia,” he said.
His opinion was that the issue of religious tolerance shouldn’t be brought into play here. “If we discuss the tolerance issue it will become a hassle. Right now, it is about rights,” he added.
The total participants of the Jamboree that met the Minister of Interior numbered around 36 women. These consisted of women from various backgrounds such as farm laborers, domestic workers as well as activists for peace from Aceh.
“A lot of studies we have done on the perda (regional regulations) have shown discriminative practices. The Komnas Perempuan (National Committee of Women) has studied whether the perda was constitutionally discriminative or not, or whether it needs revision. We also provided accompaniment for religious minorities. We found that a careful scrutiny of conservative religious analysis ended much of the violence set in place by legislative interpretations,” mentioned the female representative of Fahmina Institute, Alif.
She pointed out several such legislative interpretations, such as the UU No. 1/1965 regarding desecration and defamation. “The public often wrongly interprets this legislation,” she said.
[She] also mentioned the SKB (Joint Decree) of the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Religious Affairs and the Attorney General. This degree is regarding the Indonesian Ahmadiyyah Worshipper and the Community, and regards the Memorial Ceremony, Orders to Believers, Members and/or Caretakers.
Next is the SKB of two ministers where one of them regulates the establishment of religious praying sites. “And then the SKB of the two ministers. This had made the Christian people unable to practice their religion.”
“As a solution, we have asked the Minister of Interior to immediately synchronize all legislative interpretations with the country’s constitution by reviewing and abolishing all laws that cause discrimination,” she ended.
For more information on the event, click here