Friday, September 10, 2010

Condemns the Koran burning plan

Terry Jones, a pastor who leads a tiny church called "The Dove World Outreach Center" in Gainesville, Florida, U.S. plans to burn copies of Koran on September 11, 2010, as reported on New York Times with the title: A Bonfire in Danger of Spreading. The reason of this action is to commemorate the event of terrorist attacks on 9/11. Gosh, for me it's really a crazy plan. I warn you that your plan, if it really happened, will spreading the new tensions around the world and very possibly this event (burns the Quran) could be used by extremists as a justification to act further. I also condemn the creator of a Facebook page titled "International Burn A Koran Day" and urge the owner of Facebook to aware and immediately remove such page because the contents of this page just showing emotional debate, hatred and also stupid.

Any negative actions will produce another negative reactions as opposed to you. If we really want to give a small contribution for peace and harmony, at least at around you, I think the best way that we can do is to calm the opposite reaction using a very simple way called "restrain ourselves to react negatively". Indeed a little thing but it will create an extraordinary effect if more and more people realize it. Just think of it before you really want to burn Koran (Quran).

Through this post I appeal to all Muslims, especially in Indonesia, not to be provoked by the plan of a handful irresponsible people in a tiny church to burns Koran (Quran). Let's just say they're looking for popularity because their church did not grow (according to the news their member only about 2-3 dozen).

As I read at VIVAnews, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has even wrote to Obama to ask the U.S. government to stop these plan. "This will threaten the world peace", he said. "In his letter, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrote that, Indonesia and the U.S. has built the bridge for western world with Islam. If burning the Quran happened, all these efforts will be futile," said Presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.

The U.S. government must take a clear action for the sake of their own interests and also the concerns of many people around the world. But I guessed that Terry Jones's action likely would be protected by the US constitution's right for the freedom of speech and the human rights. Oh my god, conflict with the freedom of speech and the human rights again? Ah... this prompted me to share my own principle with respect to both of these principles. About freedom of speech, I will says that we do not have absolute freedom of speech. And about human rights, I will says that please enjoy your human rights as long as not interfering the other human rights. Why? Because there is still a part of society who were not use the same approach (the same point of view) to understand and filtering the things with the same way as you are. So please use both of them wisely. Meanwhile, let's see what is really happened until the deadline.

Along with this post I want to say Happy Eid Ul Fitr 1431H to all Muslims. Please forgive any of my physical and emotional wrongdoings.

56 comments:

  1. @ Trencherbone,

    I've visited the link you provided and also been reading your blog. One thing that I want to say is that Muslims in Indonesia is different from what you think.

    Religious leaders (as a human) also play an important role to influence their followers.

    As I have said in this post that there is still a part of society who were not use the same approach (the same point of view) to understand and filtering the things with the same way. That's a matter of each individual's skill to understand his/her religions wisely, not verbatim.

    I'm interested to know how you look at the Indonesian Muslim as a whole?

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  2. I have been firm on what to do with issues like this: leave it! Yeah, sometimes the best way to deal with stupidity like this event is to ignore it. Because it seems that they only want to get the world's attention in an easy way. This is backed with the fact that the church has congregation that amounts to no more than 50 people and the pastor hopes that by hosting the event the congregation will grow fast in number! Phew!

    Well... yes... I appeal to all the Muslims in Indonesia too please not to overreact to this event. Ignore it. By ignoring it I believe they will not get what they want, they don't succeed in making us run amok. On the contrary, this event only shows us that stupidity and intolerance are generic, they possibly belong to Indonesians and Americans alike, Muslims and non-Muslims alike...

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  3. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/10/3007790.htm

    The Florida-based pastor who planned a mass burning of Korans on September 11 says he is calling off the event.

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  4. Idiots are to be found everywhere, Tikno!

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  5. I was so shocke d by this man 's foolishness. A church in India already received a threatening letter to blow it up in the case of this event. Our home minister appealed to these people to retract from their actions and also to our country men to show restraint and the media to show descretion.

    This could endanger the lives and propery of thousands of people.

    But I am glad they have called it off. Maybe it was a cheap gimmick to increase his church memebership.


    Instead of this they should be praying for world peace an d show the love of Christ in tangible ways.

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  6. The latest I've heard is he might change his mind again. He is definitely getting the attention he wants. There are always people on all sides who want to stir up violence.

    Do you think the people who want to build the mosque so close to the 9/11 site are causing trouble too? I assume the pastor trying to stir up trouble is reacting to that.

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  7. @ Yari NK,
    Thing for sure is he's got a lot of criticism. I guess his congregation not necessarily will increase immediately. If any, perhaps it come from extreme people like him.

    I don't know whether in the future this will become the embryo of Christian extremists?
    Perhaps, you or others able to give a good analysis.

    @ Neil,
    Thank you for the update of possibly good news. Do you think the way of barter that asked by Pastor Terry Jones (if acceptable to both sides) is the best way to relieve tension?

    Notes to all readers:
    There is a very interesting post as well as the comments to this post at Neil's blog to stimulate your mind with respect to these issues. Please visit:

    http://neil2decade.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/know-your-friends/

    @ Jim Belshaw,
    But... extraordinary idiots are only to be found in certain place ;)

    The same question to Neil, do you think the barter way will be effective? This also related to Cheerful Monk's question.

    @ Amrita,
    I sincerely hope that Pastor Jones realizes that his plans also have a bad impact until to India. Indeed, a plan that does not take sides for the peace.

    @ Cheerful Monk,
    Hopefully a good news.

    It also triggers the trouble. But I think it is not on the same level (not equivalent) with burning the Koran or Bible. I try to think objectively. They just proposes their project and the rest is up to your government to decide. This is where the role of government are critical to see and consider of any impact that will follow the decision. Personally I will think that the room which it designed to serve all interests, all cultures, all religions, all skin color, should be neutral from the matters of religions and race. Let it be stand neutral. Consider the word "World" on the World Trade Center.

    It would be better if there is no single worship's building to have a special place in the area of UN (United Nations). ;)

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  8. Tikno,
    Personally I think the guy is an Idiot, however its a crazy world we live in. Sadly it is easy to complain and shout when things like this happen on the other side of the world, however Christian churches and Christians prevented from worship by Islamic people in Java and other islands and vice versa just seems to be tolerated and accepted here but how is that behaviour perceived by people from other parts of the world who are Christian?
    How would people in the west react if a Islamic person burnt a bible? How would it be reported in the media?
    What is happening is wrong. However the media is making a bigger issue out of it. Obama weighing in on the issue and not sorting it out makes things even worse as it shows he cannot prevent it. As far as I am aware the guy is not breaking any laws just creating more religious tension that no-one really needs and he might not really be aware of the true impact it will have globally.
    Maybe it is time for some self reflection by all leaders both political and religious to help prevent things like this happening and spiralling out of control again.

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  9. Tikno, yours is a hell of a sensible post.You spoke my mind as well. Indeed: if some retarded idiot provokes you, the best possible answer is to ignore him.

    (One note however: burning books is off any limits in mainstream western culture. Everyone who does so will be a social and cultural outcast.This Florida reverent will definitely be. Like someone would be if he would burn a Bible. However it is not a crime.)

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  10. tikno,
    You say,"But I guessed that Terry Jones's action likely would be protected by the US constitution's right for the freedom of speech and the human rights. Oh my god, conflict with the freedom of speech and the human rights again?"

    Yes, people fear Islam because it wants to take away their human rights and impose Islamic law on them. That plus the fact Islamists are vociferous about their plan to blow us up. You seem to be trivializing that concern.

    I agree the pastor is a kook and apparently he's definitely called it off now, but this fellow is probably more dangerous. He's feeding on fear. And arguments that civil rights aren't important are not helping the situation in my opinion. Why not instead rant against the Islamists who want to kill people who disagree with them?



    utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feeds%2Fworld+%28Christian+Science+Monitor+|+World%29

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  11. just wait and see if he does

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  12. This is really ridiculous...that's why Christianity is seen as "hypocritical" because some Christians are promoting hatred. I am a Christian myself and I am disgusted about this.

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  13. Hi Tikno,
    That's a fair analysis of Islam, thank you.
    I think the reverent is just looking for some sort of sensationalism in order to to increase the member of his congregation like you said.

    Have a wonderful holidays.

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  14. tikno,
    You write, "It also triggers the trouble. But I think it is not on the same level (not equivalent) with burning the Koran or Bible. I try to think objectively. They just proposes their project and the rest is up to your government to decide."

    According to your values, building the mosque so close to 9/11 doesn't violate the sacredness of the memory of those who died on 9/11. I happen to agree, but a lot of people don't. You're saying your values are more important than the values of those people.

    You're saying the pastor and people who agree with him should be sensitive to the Muslims and the world situation. The pastor is saying the builders of the proposed mosque should be sensitive to the feelings of the people who think 9/11 was a sacred experience. I disagree about his suggestion to burn the Koran, and I personally have no objection to the mosque. But I also disagree with your downplaying the values of the 9/11 folk. It seems to me tolerance is trying to understand and respect other people's views.

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  15. Dear Tikno,

    I heard this issue. and I think that it is just will be done by someone who doesn't really love or defend his religion but more tent to the emotional feeling and hatred.
    like you said, all of us better restrain ourselves to react negatively.
    anyway, happy Ied Mubarak 1431 H..

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  16. @ Luke,
    Intolerant and racism on a tiny scale could be happened anywhere including in America.

    I must admit that there has been violence on several Churches in Indonesia in the past. But it can be said still in a very small scale, as done by the hoodlum who requested a kind of security money, or land ownership conflicts with the local community. Mostly as a reward due to the issue of violence against Muslim in other parts of the world. As I have said: there is still a part of society who were not use the same approach (the same point of view) to understand and filtering the things with the same way as you are. This does not mean I'm trivializing the churches violence in Indonesia. I condemned the perpetrator too, but I must make a distinction between the perpetrators and Indonesian Muslim as a whole.

    However, we have a nice forum here called "inter-religious communication forum" which involves various religious leaders, whose goal is as a medium to overcome various issues pertaining to religion in Indonesia. But since the days of former President Suharto's reign ended, the atmosphere continues to grow better.

    What also must be noted that Indonesian Government has seriously to fight terrorism, such as executed the perpetrators of the Bali bombing, and recently has arrested Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, leader of Islamic radical group.

    I want to ask you, how do you view the overall Indonesian Muslim? Did you see them similar with the Muslims in Iran or Afghanistan? As a western people who lived in Indonesia and I think quite familiar with Indonesia, I think your answers would be more interesting to my non-Indonesian friends here - especially to Trencherbone.

    @ Colson,
    Maybe can be categorized as not a crime from the legal point of view but it's categorized as deliberately triggering trouble. Btw, whether Mr. Geert Wilders attend to commemorate 9/11?

    @ Cheerful Monk,
    I do not underestimate the fact that there are extremists in Islam who always impose Islamic law on others. But this does not mean we are allowed to burn Koran and the Bible as well. Why? Because there are still a lot of good Muslim even far more than you could imagined, who were moderate and well-educated to understand their religion wisely and not impose to others - so, should we trivializing to them too?

    Mr. Obama also said: "It was imperative for people in this country to distinguish between their real enemies and those who have the potential to become enemies because of continued vilification of Islam in the United States"
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/us/politics/11obama.html?_r=2&ref=us

    If I knew blogging before the 9/11, surely I will make a post to condemn the perpetrators of such terrorist. I'm not seeing what is your religion but seeing who start the sparks and I would immediately react to them. And... what is more dangerous than the cold war is religious war.

    @ Angel,
    The good news was... canceled.

    @ Bingkee,
    It's just because of 2-3 dozen and you should not being so cool.
    By the way, given your blog title, why do you love and also hate America? Is it also applied to your country Philippines?

    @ H. Nizam,
    As Indonesian Muslim, how you look at Luke's comment.

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  17. tikno,
    "I'm not seeing what is your religion but seeing who start the sparks and I would immediately react to them. And... what is more dangerous than the cold war is religious war."

    I agree that most Muslims are probably peaceful, and so are most Americans. It's easy to set off the radical ones on both sides off, though. I do object when you write,"But I guessed that Terry Jones's action likely would be protected by the US constitution's right for the freedom of speech and the human rights. Oh my god, conflict with the freedom of speech and the human rights again?"

    So are you proposing that the U.S. government should have said the mosque couldn't have been built so close to the 9/11 site because it would provoke anti-Muslim sentiment? That's one thing that started this. The fact is not everyone says only the Koran and the Bible are sacred. That seems to be a point you are missing.

    Anyway, great topic!

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  18. @ Niar-guardianangel,
    Been long time not heard you my friend. Seems you are very busy recently. Congratulation on your new job at The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) :)

    @ Cheerful Monk,
    Oh... it's just showed my concern that Terry Jones' plan will really be conducted under the shelter of your state constitution.

    The key was in the hands of your government. Obama seems constrained by the principle of freedom of speech and human rights that seem to be absolute for Americans. If I were Obama, I would use political power (because hindered by the two principles above) to prohibit the building of the mosque (including the other worship building) at or near to the 9/11 because 9/11 has become the heart for many people, and all at once prohibits the burning of Koran as well, for the sake of many people concerns and to calm the tensions. Unfortunately, I'm not your president ;)

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  19. tikno,
    Apparently some of the people demonstrating against the U. S. because of the pastor say it doesn't matter that he didn't actually burn the Koran...he thought about doing it. So then the only way to have avoided the international outrage would have been to keep the media from telling people about it. I think that's a dangerous way to go. What about you?

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  20. Hi Tikno,
    I agree with Luke that treatment of Non Muslims here is truly UNFAIR and against constitution, laws and regulations.
    The root of the problem is, like in most things here, very weak law enforcement and indecisive leaders.

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  21. @ tikno: For sure this is an emotional subject. For the time being Florida idiot gave in to the pressure fortunately

    As for Geert Wilders, he indeed is triggering a lot of trouble. Politically he is cashing in on a growing anti-Islam feeling in Western Europe and the US. However not Wilders but the anxieties - which go far beyond the invasion of a foreign religion- of people voting for him are the real problem.

    It is up to us to deal with that. That will be tough. Now Wilders is being prosecuted for discrimination. Next November we will stand trial. I don't think this will be the solution. Oppression seldom is the right answer. Unfortunately you can't outlaw the socio-economical problems by which his political movement thrives.

    Actually real answers to the problems has not been found yet. We have to live for some time to come with a divisive, destructive politician, I guess. I'm even afraid there will be other politicians like Wilders in other countries as well before we will be back to normal again.

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  22. Hi Tikno,
    I will try and keep this brief as I feel it is best to.
    Never really knowing any muslim people before living in Indonesia I can only say that I find the majority of all the people here to be honest, kind and pleasant enough to me but then I dont look at a person and think what religion are you?
    I can't really compare one countries reilgious viewpoint with another as all countries manage and use faith differently, however I would imagine and from my experience that the majority of people in all countries are friendly and are interested in an outsider, it is not just about them it is also about how you mix into the community.
    Every religion has its religious zealots and every country has its own experience of them. But what needs to happen as Harry has already said on this thread is better leadership and guidance from the those that are instilled to deliver the teachings and learnings from which ever religion they are.

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  23. Tikno,
    The following link is what makes everything we have been discussing the reason why people fear and ultimately begin to hate people of different religions. Some crazy church leader 'thinking' of doing something against Islam is certainly different to Islamics actually doing harm to Christians as the church leader actually never did anything. I sincerely hope that the people who attacked the church leaders in Bekasi today were not Muslim or part of Islamic Defenders Front.
    Remember this news also spreads around the world and fuels the fires of mistrust...

    http://bit.ly/bKkKTd

    You should understand I am not a religious person am not anti any religion but this kind of reaction is so sad to read and frustrating

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  24. tikno, to me the approach in your post is to call for calm all around. I like that, and I think you are doing the right thing. We in the West sometimes wish we could hear more moderate voices like yours, instead of all the threats. At least that foolish pastor cancelled his event.

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  25. @ Cheerful Monk,
    There is an anecdote in the media industry, namely: the bad thing is the good thing. The media was smart enough to choose the "good product" to be sold. It depend on how you rate it bad (your ability). That's why we need to provide good education for our children. And the most important thing is why the news sources enjoyed to provide "good product" to be consumed by them.

    @ H. Nizam,
    Yes, unfair on some places but you already going too far if saying truly UNFAIR across the country. May be yes in some places where hard-line was dominant. But overall the atmosphere has been moving into a better direction after the era of President Suharto. Confucius as a religion was accepted and the Chinese culture can be expressed openly in public spaces. Chinese New Year (Lunar) is accepted as a national holiday.

    You are right about the weakness of law enforcement and indecisive leaders.

    @ Colson,
    As I said to Cheerful Monk in my previous comment, what is more dangerous than the cold war is religious war. We, who still conscious, should concerned about it.

    @ Luke,
    Thanks for sharing your personal experience in Indonesia. The good news was:

    1) Quoted from: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/hard-liners-to-yudhoyono-we-are-not-terrorists/378241

    "However, he suggested that the 2003 Law on Terrorism be amended to allow the prosecution of clerics who criticized the government in their sermons or advocated for the implementation of Shariah law."

    2) Quoted from: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/president-hits-out-at-terrorists-says-indonesia-will-never-be-islamic-state/375377

    "In some of his strongest comments against terrorists yet, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday called on all Indonesians to join the government in combating terrorism and their plans to establish an Islamic state governed by Shariah law."

    @ Consvltvs,
    Your attention is important!
    But... how you deal with the matter of absolute freedom of speech also interesting!

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  26. Colson,
    "However not Wilders but the anxieties - which go far beyond the invasion of a foreign religion- of people voting for him are the real problem.... Oppression seldom is the right answer. Unfortunately you can't outlaw the socio-economical problems by which his political movement thrives."

    I agree with you that oppression is seldom the answer, which is one reason tikno's disparagement of human rights and free speech bothers me so much. And yes, emotions are high right now because of socio-economic problems, but the anti-Muslim movement is also based on the feeling of being invaded by people who don't share one's values and who would overthrow the basis of one's government if they had sufficient votes (ignoring the probable violence by the fringes on both sides before that).

    Clearly tikno is a kind, reasonable person, but even he is advocating tossing out our Bill of Rights. That statement of his scares me...not that he and others like him would do anything violent, but because the disagreement is so deep.

    The New Yorker had a great cartoon a few week's ago. The scene was around Ground Zero and some Muslims were looking at plans. A cheerful street artist was telling them, "I fully support your desire to build the mosque. How would you like to see my pictures of Mohammed?"

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  27. Luke,
    It doesn't look good. According to this article some groups are calling for the Muslims to join forces to fight the Christianization of the city.

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  28. @ cheerful monk: You are right. At least part of the voters for Wilders in my country are afraid the shariah laws will be introduced in the future.

    Their political choice is based on fear, not facts. 9/11 and the terrorist attacks in Lndon and Madrid did fuel the fear and anger. But if I'm correct only about 2% of the US population and about 7 - 8% in some countries in Western Europe, is Muslim. That will not change much: the birth rate of third generation Muslim immigrants is almost the same now as that of the average European ( and American I assume).

    On top of that European Muslims ( like their American brothers and sisters I assume) secularize. Most of them already adhere to their religion only nominally. It is highly unlikely Islam ( or any other religion) will play an important, let alone dominant role in society.

    The main problem to solve is not about the right idea about afterlife, in my opinion. A struggle between religions is highly unlikely and would be totally absurd. I guess in Europe the main challenge is to prevent that the new Europeans, mainly Muslims [who in Europe originally came from Anatolia (an under developed part of Turkey) and from underdeveloped parts of North Africa ( like the Rif mountains)], will become a structural socio-economical underclass in our societies.

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  29. What i'm thinking this plan was an effort to gain popularity, i was reading in the news that the member of this church were around 20's people..
    apart from that, although the idea has been call off, but in future such intention shouldn't happen, the same case with HKBP case, it triggering the tension among religious belief, and some segment of unknown people play with it and take advantage of it.

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  30. @ Cheerful Monk (Jean),
    Hmm... you have made me think very long before I reply to your comment. :)

    Given my principle about human rights within this post, I think... I should not bothers your value too much. Now I realized that naturally there is always something less pleasing in between the two (or more) of customs, habits, culture, or even religion that have to mingle to each other. Even twins can occur discord. We need learn to know the cultures, customs and religions of others, so that our insight can be more open in viewing others.

    An old saying has come into my mind while writing this comment: "Like a frog in the shells, never look out."
    That's for the hard-line who see their value was the most truth.

    The last paragraph of Colson's comment to you above has provided another important sense to me. Did you feel it too?

    In your comments to Luke above, the word "Christianization" is deliberately pronounced by hard-line parties to dramatize the situation and trigger the sentiment. Thankfully their "free advertisement on media" has been rated bad even by their fellow Muslim (vast Indonesian Muslim).

    About the link you provided to us, I personally did not feel offended as long as she does not bother me when wearing shorts and T-Shirt.

    @ Achmad Edi Goenawan,
    Mohon maaf lahir dan batin juga.

    @ Colson,
    Seems, Cheerful Monk has ignoring your beautiful thoughts.

    @ Kamilia,
    How about your experience in celebrating Eid al-Fitr in Uzbekistan?
    Your comments presenting a fresh thought for others. :)

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  31. Cheerful Monk, I think every country has prerogative to ban this or that or to allow this or that concerning their own home rules , what a bit matters is that how sound the ban is based upon. Let's see what have the French to say about this ban... even though I realise no matter how ridiculous the base is, The French still have the prerogative to ban burqa in their own yard... we must not force ours into them just give them a big big laugh if the base is silly and thoughtless.

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  32. Hi Yari - are you indirectly going to say that if majority give a little emphasis on minority is a natural thing as long as still within their territory? Is that's what you mean by prerogative? You're wrong!

    Tikno's principles attracted my attention by comparing it with our native values in the west.

    Watching this thread with interest!

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  33. Hi anonymous, of course the reason behind the ban, the emphasis etc. can be wrong! But if it is wanted by the majority of the French, what can we do as an outsider?? Are we going to force our views into them?? That's what I mean by 'prerogative', or is there another word that represents better the situation in place of 'prerogative'??

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  34. I'm not ignoring colson, I just spent over a half an hour writing my response. Then I accidentally hit the wrong button and it all went away! I don't have the heart to go through that again tonight. I learned a lot writing it, and you all are no doubt blessed that you don't have to read the long thing. :)

    I will say this whole business is very complex, which is one reason it interests me.

    I am curious as to what religious training you had growing up, tikno, and what you were taught in history. I've always loved history and am spending a lot of time now studying and thinking about it...mostly ancient history but also some about the history of our U.S. Constitution and about the history of Islam.

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  35. Colson,
    You say the main challenge is to prevent the new Europeans from becoming a structual underclass. In France the descendents of immigrants from North Africa (mainly Algeria, I think) rioted in 2005 because they were so marginalized. Has anything improved sinced then? Ethnic discrimination and poor education, not religion, were the cause of the riots.

    France has been fairly successful in combating terrorism because it's willing to sacrifice civil liberties to do so. Some French officials think the U.S. and Britain have made themselves safe havens for terrorists because we're overly concerned about civil rights. It's all very interesting.

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  36. @ Cheerful Monk: No, hardly anything improved, I'm afraid. Nicolas Sarkozy's solution ( looking over his right shoulder to mr Le Pen)has been tough talk, anti Islam rhetoric,less leniency in law imposing, compromising on the state of law ( just recently by expelling tens of thousands of Gypsies - that is Roma).

    As for terrorism - over the last year some 150 cases has been reported in Western Europe. Only one of them was connected to Islam - the guy on the Amsterdam - Detroit flight.

    Homegrown terrorism is a permanent potential problem among 'marginalized' groups of course. The situation occasionally is worrying - last spring a part of Brussels was a no-go area for the police even for instance.

    But I for one resent the creeping sacrifice of the state of law in the name of security. That is treason to our values. The potential underclass has to be de- marginalized, to be integrated in stead.

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  37. Colson,
    I've been watching the Roma controversy with interest. I agree with you about helping people to become integrated.

    After 9/11 some officials in France said the U.S. and Britain were havens for terrorists because we were too concerned with civil rights and didn't use spot ID checking and information monitoring. I wonder what they would say now.

    What about burning, or threatening to burn, the Qu'ran? Do you think that should be outlawed or that the social pressure used in the U.S. is a better way to go?

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  38. @ Cheerful Monk: Social pressure did work :D .

    No I don't think laws are in place here. If someone feels strongly about something ( be it in favour or against), non violent means should be at his disposal. Though burning books is extremely stupid and offensive in this case, the way only barbarians and morons act, it in itself should not be punishable.

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  39. Colson,
    I agree. But tinko thinks this is carrying principle of freedom of speech and human rights too far. He thinks those rights are absolute for Americans. In fact there are some limits, mostly on false advertising, child pornography, obscenity (a sticky one) and speech that incites imminent danger. It's probably the last area that tikno is interested in. If radical groups decide to start killing Americans indiscriminately because individuals in the U.S. offend their religion, should we outlaw the triggering behavior? Who's to say where that would end?

    Until this post I hadn't realized that Indonesia has a law against blasphemy. Wikipedia lists examples of how the law has been used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Indonesia I personally don't advocate going down that path.

    Again, tikno, thank you so much for writing this post!

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  40. tikno,
    More on free speech. Apparently "fighting words" are sometimes restricted. Wikipedia defines these as

    "Fighting words are written or spoken words, generally expressed to incite hatred or violence from their target. Specific definitions, freedoms, and limitations of fighting words vary by jurisdiction. It is also used in a general sense of words that when uttered create (deliberately or not) a verbal or physical confrontation by their mere usage."

    This is probably what you're talking about. Burning the Qu'ran or drawing a cartoon about Mohammed are not strictly words, but they are confrontational. I'm fairly certain they're not restricted in the U.S now, because before globalization there was no worldwide audience. I have trouble with outlawing any act that would offend violent people in other parts of the globe. It would be giving too much power to violence.

    The Wikipedia article is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States

    I'd be interested to hear what you think of it, as well as the law against blasphemy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Indonesia

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  41. https://omegetymon.wordpress.com/
    sometimes You send me you thoughts. Great thoughts BROTHER. Om

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  42. @ Cheerful Monk,
    First of all I'm so sorry for being late to respond. Just because I'm busy with my job. :(

    I'm surprised you asked my religion. I do not know whether it's important or not for you. But well, I will answer your curiosity. I adhered to Confucius from childhood until graduated from high school - just following my parents belief and also learn the teachings of Taoism. During college I was interested and adhered to Christianity and had read the entire Bible. When married, I followed my wife's religion, namely Buddhism, and we were married according to Buddhist belief. But since childhood until now, I have a lot of Muslim friends, hanging out with them, and we often talk about Islam.

    At one time I heard an exclamation religious debate among my friends. This is what triggered me to write a post titled: "If one why different", followed by "Aware or just a dream." If you like to read it please visit:

    http://love-ely.blogspot.com/2009/08/aware-or-just-dream.html

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  43. @ Cheerful Monk,
    Really, this is a dilemma and the whole business is very complex as you say.

    I think the laws against blasphemy is good as a complement to the human rights charter / freedom of speech. Human rights and freedom of speech should also take sides with the interests of the crowd (collective rights), not in absolute terms to secure the rights of individual to do blasphemous, moreover incites imminent danger for many people (disturbing the other rights to get a sense of security).

    This is absurd to insist on protecting an individual right to do offensive act if its effect is very dangerous to the interests of many people.

    Human rights and freedom of speech is needed to secure the most fundamental rights of every individual, that is the right to life, the right to get protection (physical and non-physical), freedom to choose religion (even atheist), the right of expression, the right to get justice, the right to choose, the right to receive equal treatment in law and government, the right to get education, the right to get affection, etc.

    The rights should not being absolute. That is why we created the rules / law, for limiting the limitless (absolutism). If not then the rules is in vain and we will return to primeval. Luckily present epoch is still civilized. :)

    @ Omegetymon,
    Hello D'Ellis... I'm glad to hear you again. Been long time my friend.

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  44. @ Cheerful Monk,
    and about Human Rights, I have a mad post (just my joke) about how human using (in the name of) "Human Rights" to get another "unusual rights". Just read it at:

    http://love-ely.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-was-in-my-mind-regarding-same-sex.html

    Do not be serious while read it because it's just my crazy idea.

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  45. tikno,
    "The rights should not being absolute." We both agree to that. What do you think of Rummuser's comment on my latest post:

    "No, I do not think that the USA or any other country should ban such activities till such time that the other side is prepared to ban such activities like burning your or our flags, effigies of our leaders and announcing rewards for the assassination of perceived insulters of their religion, the koran and their prophet. I do not know if you saw them, but I did, the entire islamic world, including sadly, Indian muslims, danced on the streets and rejoiced on 9/11 and the subsequent days."

    That sounds fair to me. What about you? :)

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  46. PS I'm confused as to why you keep arguing against "absolute" rights. I don't know of anyone who believes they should be absolute. Do you?

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  47. tikno,
    Sorry, I somehow missed the part where you wrote

    'I think the laws against blasphemy is good as a complement to the human rights charter / freedom of speech. Human rights and freedom of speech should also take sides with the interests of the crowd (collective rights), not in absolute terms to secure the rights of individual to do blasphemous, moreover incites imminent danger for many people (disturbing the other rights to get a sense of security).

    This is absurd to insist on protecting an individual right to do offensive act if its effect is very dangerous to the interests of many people."

    I've just been reading some about what is happening with your blasphemy laws and the discrimination against the Christians and other minority sects in Indonesia. Apparently the blasphemy laws are mostly used against heretical Muslims...those who believe in a version different from the mainstream. I was raised Catholic and am too aware of how heretics were treated in the history of that religion. I shudder at the idea of blasphemy laws. At least in Indonesia people are only thrown in jail for up to 5 years. The Catholics tortured people and burned them alive.

    I still think talking the pastor out of burning the Qu'ran was a better way to go than passing a law. Laws are extremely tricky to write and enforce fairly. In the case of the pastor a huge number of people spoke up against the act and he didn't do it. Another fellow elsewhere was showing off and threatened to burn a Qu'ran. A fellow nearby gently took the book from him and said, "Now you don't have a Qu'ran to burn." Making too big a deal about the incident just encourages other people to make the threat. More attention should have been paid to the huge number of people who were against the act and used persuasion instead of force.

    Thank you for telling me about your religious background. I just like to know more details about my friends. Did you have formal religious classes? We had to go for religious instruction for a few hours once a week.

    I wouldn't do well in Indonesia if this information is true:

    "On 9 December 2006, the House of Representatives passed a new civil registration bill requiring citizens to identify themselves on government ID cards as a member of one of the six religions." (The religions are Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.) Is it true about the ID cards?

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm learning a lot! I now subscribe to the online Jakarta Globe.

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  48. @ Cheerful Monk,
    First of all I apologize for the late response. This is simply because I had to overcome a serious problem and decided to stop my blogging activity temporarily. :(

    As for Rummuser's comment which it quoted above, plus you said: "That sounds fair to me".
    Yes, that is sounds fair mathematically but I just felt something sentimental on the both side.

    Actually this is a very complex problem. Handling every problem does not always success if only depend on a single standard formula but also should wisely in understanding the typical and the dynamics of the society itself. The following articles is good to add the discourse to this post:

    On public order (by CONSVLTVS):
    http://consvltvs.blogspot.com/2010/09/on-public-order.html

    Blasphemy law in the United States:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_the_United_States

    Freedom of speech versus blasphemy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_versus_blasphemy

    Unifies the diversity is not an easy task considering of Indonesia's independence still reaches the age of 65 years compared to USA which reached 234 years (since declared).

    Actually the purpose of blasphemy law is good, namely prohibits a person to blaspheme the religion of others. This is also a form of protection for the rights of others. Abuse of the blasphemy law is often caused by individuals or a group who was unilaterally accuses, assume on its own, or dramatize the problem with the aim of provocation. Perhaps the international version of blasphemy law is needed in order to make it more clear and more perfect as a complement to human rights charter and freedom of speech.

    I still believe with both of my principles that I mentioned in this post is a simple way to avoid the new problems that are not necessary. The problem is... not everyone want to think about it. In the long term the best that we can do is to educate the next generations properly because the level of education and insight on each person also determine the patterns of thinking and the ability to understand and filter out the things around them.

    Utilization of religious issues for the purpose of political interests or mass mobilization (politicizing religion) is still a lot happening until today. Who is wrong? Obviously not because of religion. Apparently our own.

    In the context of a country, I also support the theory that public order and security is the foundation to arrange everything into a better direction, step by step. Without it, there's nothing we can do because we only could say "chaotic"

    In the end all return on the firmness of the government in implementing the law objectively (though not always as we expected). And... I'm just releasing my mind into digital world as written on the header of this blog, to be read.

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  49. @ Cheerful Monk,
    As for the ID cards, yes that's true. Indonesia apparently do not like atheists. But you are welcome to visit Indonesia. :)

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  50. Hello once again Tikno, I know I have not been visiting often but I have been so busy...
    I believe that Ignorance and fools are everywhere in the world. But there is also alot of us out there who believe we are all people, and we are all equal no matter where your from, what color you are, or what religion you are. Even well educated people can be oblivious to their on ignorance at times. But dont let it deter a world peace, it is those of us who search for new experiences and accept what we find that will make this world a better place... God Bless you and your family, and have a wonderful weekend...

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  51. @ JK,
    Oblivious on their own ignorance? Very well said!

    My greetings for you & Nancy. May God bless your family.

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