Undoing Yudhoyono’s Sectarian Legacy
Indonesia holds presidential election on July 9 and the successor of the current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will face a rising religious intolerance in the country. The Yudhoyono’s government has been turning a blind eye and acting passively toward worsening religious intolerance. Indonesia’s violent Sunni Islamist militants have grown accustomed to attacking religious minorities with impunity over the past 10 years.
BY ANDREAS HARSONO
05/13/2014 Indonesia (New Mandala)- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s legacy of worsening religious intolerance and related violence will be one of the biggest challenges his successor will face. Indonesia holds presidential elections on July 9.
While Yudhoyono likes to speak about Indonesia’s “religious harmony,” over the past 10 years the country’s religious minorities, including Christians, Shia, Ahmadiyah and some indigenous faiths, have become increasingly besieged by often violent Sunni Islamist militants. Yudhoyono’s response to that intolerance has been empty rhetoric and turning a blind eye to elements of his government passively or actively complicit in abuses of the rights of religious minorities.
Islamist militants have grown accustomed to attacking minorities with impunity grown accustomed to attacking minorities with impunity. In certain cases, in which the security forces and prosecutors have actually intervened in such incidents, the result has frequently been the prosecution and imprisonment of representatives of the victimized minorities—not the perpetrators, with charges of “blasphemy” or “creating unrest.”
Escalation in reported cases of religious violence against minorities in Indonesia