Indonesia, a country located on the Indian Ocean, is the largest country in Southeast Asia. Its cultural diversity remains a central issue of international relations. This, in turn, requires Indonesia to take into account the fact that it has the largest Muslim population of any country in the world. It is precisely this demographic feature of Indonesia which makes its religion, Islam, so crucial to the country, just as it is for many countries. As the result, it became necessary for the Indonesian government to create some restrictions on expressions of the religion that are problematic. A good example of this was created by the Federal Law on Religious Diversity in Indonesia in 1967 that was developed based on a number of recommendations by the United Nations General Assembly on religious pluralism (Kormek & Coleridge, p. 5). Nevertheless, despite its authors’ willingness to take measures against the way that Islamic groups usually are involved in Islamic extremism, such measures continued to be implemented, and it resulted in an increasing number of deadly activities (Cafnall, p. 56). Such results led to the creation of new regulation that could be termed the Indonesian Seclusion Act, which is designed to be the most difficult regulation that anyone has to implement. Such phenomenon continues to be observed in today’s Indonesia, and thus it requires attention of those who want to create social justice in Indonesia by enforcing the Sharia law in practice (Cafnall, p. 48).
Among the three studies on this topic, this paper is most concerned with the discussion of the Indonesian Seclusion Act. This will help it deliver a lot of information and arguments in respect to what effect this legislation had on Indonesia’s social justice and the country’s entire Muslim population. This political repression will also tell us a lot about how an adopted practice can affect the national population and, in a larger perspective, about the state of democracy of the country.
Politics and Society
On the other hand, this paper also will serve as a reminder to the already known fact that Muslims can easily engage in the excessive surveillance practices and social control of others, as the way that these activities are defined by religion clearly implies. The implication is that religion can easily become the enemy of the state. Nevertheless, this practice is also heretical to other religions, which often can lead to its tolerance in Islam. Its implementation in society has resulted in a variety of social disputes where religious minorities often live in the state. This study is a reminder of the need to prevent the occurrence of social massacres in Indonesia and the world at large because of the targeted and extreme efforts to ensure that Islam remains the main target of their actions (Cafnall, p. 362).
By evaluating the impact of the Indonesian Seclusion Act, it will become evident that this regulation led to an increase in the activities that demonstrate a support for the core teachings of Islam. This activity was characterized by disruption of physical and psychological development of religious minorities, and the proponents of this regulation were surprised by its effect on their zeal to pursue their legal interests (Elauwani & Miller, p. 3).
This analysis confirms a great deal of what other researchers have concluded. That is why it is clear that Islam in Indonesia is a problem for those people who prefer to emphasize Muslim culture as the major aspect of national life.
The necessity of the Indonesian Seclusion Act can be explained by the fact that the main goals of government in Indonesia are to take care of the country’s security and safety from the threats of social upheaval in terms of the social extremists (Cafnall, p. 369). This is why, regardless of whether Muslims are the main participants of social protest, such civil disobedience should not take place in Indonesia. A new regulation in this area has its enforcement to solve the necessary problems and ensure that a government that does not adequately respect its obligations to the religious minorities is neutral in all their dealings with the government.
The Indonesian Seclusion Act is an approach that explicitly targets the participants of Indonesian social protest to the core of Islam, and hence, its policy should aim at ensuring tolerance. However, it was unsuccessful in achieving it.
Elauwani, Gary, and Brian Miller. Indonesia’s Social Justice: The Impact of Indonesian Seclusion Laws. Washington, DC: St. Martin’s Press, 2011. Print.