Indonesia is both Islamic and a democracy?

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.

2 thoughts on “Indonesia is both Islamic and a democracy?

  1. Ah floggings, good ol’ floggings! Perhaps the political and media class of the West should be subject to floggings every time they utter nonsense that distorts reality?

    Having spent 4 months in Morocco prior to 9-11 and 6 weeks in Egypt post 9-11, I can only conclude the West continues to utter nonsense about Islam and the “Middle East” because most Westerners never having been anywhere close to the region (nor the religion) know next to nothing about it.

    Coming as it did between my 2 visits to quite different Muslim countries, 9-11 gave birth to quite an interesting range of thoughts and feelings regarding western cultural and foreign policy generally and the relationship of western countries to Muslim ones.

    Having observed such a magical place as Morocco and the deep level of faith and devotion the people had for their God, I could only sympathize with the Jihad vision of the West as a carnal and debauched culture that had descended into disregard and even disrespect for God. Is it really that hard to fathom that should an outside observer find our indulgences excessive and our lack of respect for God prominent that they might conclude we do not really have any genuine respect for their culture and faith?

    How is it that we are quite possibly being attacked for our degeneracy, as much or more than for our particular policy errors (of which there are many), and yet we cannot understand this is why we are being attacked?

    Liberals imagine we are supposed to be loved by people who have a deep devotion to their God, a concept almost unknown in Western Liberal circles (Atheists mostly), because of our wonderful and free Liberal ways. Conservatives can’t seem to figure out how to lead the discussion through a genuine respect of religious difference that they at least theoretically could appreciate, nor can they seem to find any way to inspire Western people to any form of spiritual devotion, practice, or even remotely conservative social behavior and morality.

    Islam may not be democratic in the true sense of the word, but neither is England, and nor are the Clinton and Bush families. However, anti-Islam sentiment will not help us find our way out of the muck and sludge we are now neck deep in and sinking fast. Our own immorality and lack of decent spirituality is our true problem.

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