Musdah Mulia: Religious Coercion Is Unconstitutional

Musdah Mulia

About 2000 people of Landak, a regency of West Kalimantan Province, are facing a serious problem. Now, they are considered unfit to be citizens of Indonesia for not embracing one of the six official religions. “If they have no religion, they do not deserve to be citizens of Indonesia,” said Miftah, a member of Commission D of West Kalimantan regional parliament, as quoted by pontianakpost.com, Sunday (01/08/2012).

The same thing also was confirmed by the Head of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Landak Regency, Mudjazie Bermawie who instructed the leaders and the advisers of Islam, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism to ask the people to choose  “the government’s religions”.

Regarding this, Musdah Mulia, the leader of the ICRP argues that the action of the local officials with the residents of Landak who choose to live without religion show how limited their knowledge about the Pancasila and the Constitution is. “Their behavior can be assessed as anti-Pancasila and unconstitutional,” said Musdah Mulia.

She added that a religious belief should not be institutionalized in the formal or organizational form. “Indeed, they claimed no religion, in the sense of not belong to one of six religion established by government, but basically they adopt the local religion they inherited from their ancestors,” she said.

Today, the officials’ view is really  far from what our founding fathers have been inherited. There are many officers who have a religious perspective that is precisely contrary to the basic essence of the State of Indonesia. “The Belief in God Almighty in Pancasila does not only refers to the five formal religions (became six since Confucianism has been admitted in 2006), as conceived by many officials. That principle is the essence of all religions and beliefs to the One who is considered as God or the Almighty.” Therefore, the reinterpretation of direction and purpose of the nation as intended by our founding fathers is needed. “Let’s reread the views of our founding fathers who are so wise, so that we understand exactly the goals of this country,” added  Musdah Mulia. [M Mukhlisin, translated by David]

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