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ICC Note: Widely regarded as the leading example of a moderate Muslim democracy, Indonesia continues to struggle with the growth of radical Islamic ideology. Today AsiaNews reports that a new law passed in East Java will force civil servants to pray to Allah before starting work every day. Workers who fail to log in a register that they have prayed may face a penalty. The new law has brought about widespread criticism. 
9/3/2013 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – A new regulation in an East Java district requiring all Muslim public servants, both men and women, to recite an Islamic prayer together before they start their workday has raised a storm of criticism and protest.
For Situbondo District Chief Dadang Wigiarto, it is important that employees gather in the mosque to recite the ‘Sholat berjamaah’ or common prayer in the local language, except staff on holiday or menstruating women.
In response to this, a group of district officials filed a formal complaint against the regulation; saying that praying is “personal” in nature and that no one can claim the power to impose it.
Syaiful Bahri, a member of the regional assembly, is leading the fight against compulsory prayer for public officials that District Chief Dadang Wigiarto imposed on 26 August 2013.
In his view, ‘Sholat’ has no connection with the government and no state body “may legislate” on the subject.
The recitation of the prayer, he insists, “gives no guarantee” that public officials will carry out their jobs better. It is a real “interference”, as well as an abuse of power, by higher-ranking government officials in the lives of citizens and workers.

personal freedoms (including freedom of religion) among its basic constitutional principles, it has become more and more the scene of violence and abusive behaviour against minorities, including Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or others.
Although Aceh is the only province in the country that enforces Islamic law, the influence of the Muslim religion is becoming more radical and extreme in the lives of citizens in many other parts of the archipelago.

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