I've still got one of those bugs which seem common here. In English, I'd call it the trots but, if I were to bung myself up with more Entrostop and make it to a local quack, s/he'd probably tell me I've got tippus
(rather than typhoid).
Truly, there are some wierd ailments here.
Take masuk angin
. This can be roughly translated as 'wind entering
'; most of us call it breathing. Another common one is panas dalam
which means hot inside. Godammit, if we were cold inside we'd surely be dead, yet both generate massive sales of halal
This, of course, is good for Indonesian Muslims intent on following the one true path as defined by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).Indonesia's reputation as a bastion of moderate, tolerant Islam has been cast in doubt after the nation's ulemas council (MUI) issued 11 fatwas (edicts) banning liberal Islamic thought, religious pluralism, inter-faith marriage, inter-faith prayers led by non-Muslims and women leading prayers attended by men.
This, in itself, doesn't bother me. Being in favour of a woman's right to choose and the use of contraception I also ignore Catholic dogmatic claptrap.
What both religions have in common though is an assertion of their right to interfere in civil society by determining secular laws and here in Indonesia this is seemingly welcomed. There is a Ministry of Religious Affairs, currently under investigation for massive embezzlement of haj funds
Yet, the MUI is not a state institution. It can issue fatwa and orders to Muslims, but they are not binding and it does no have the authority to enforce them. Legal authorities in the government have no obligation to enforce the edicts while Muslims are not obliged to comply with them.
Because the MUI has no authority to enforce the controversial fatwa, it is the hard-line groups, like the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) who appear at the frontline to pressure the authorities to enforce them. If they believe the authorities have failed, they (the hard-line groups) could directly come to the field to enforce them.
, whose influence is strongest in poorly educated rural communities, believes liberal teachings - defined as those promoting rational rather than literal interpretations of religious texts - are "dangerous and misleading"
In other words, we have a major Islamic organisation here in Indonesia whose teachings directly resonate with potential al-Qaeda recruits.
, my fellow Brit blogger here in Jakarta, seems to be most concerned about the growth of fundamentalist Islam in the UK. Like me, he has a 'mixed marriage' and is a potential target of the MUI.
And that's what really bugs me.