Christmas was marked, if not celebrated, by Christians and non-Christians akin in Indonesia this week. Indonesia may be the country with the world’s better Muslim population, but aback Christmas is a civic holiday, the blithe affection prevailed beyond the archipelago.
The government fabricated Monday, December 24 a accessible holiday, giving bodies an continued weekend holiday. With best schools out until afterwards the New Year, the anniversary amid Christmas and New Year is additionally an ideal time for abounding for a ancestors vacation.
Adding to the division of joy are the Christmas lights and decorations in capital streets and accessible areas in Jakarta and added above cities. Department stores, analysis banking opportunities, captivated admirable Christmas sales, and shoppers took advantage of the situation. This may be bartering rather than spiritual, but it is Christmas nevertheless.
Christmas in Indonesia, as abroad in the apple area it is celebrated, is not the aforementioned after its allotment of idiocies. It’s not alleged the asinine division for nothing. In Indonesia, this applesauce came address of the Indonesian Ulema Board (MUI), one of the country’s bastions of religious conservatism.
Just a few canicule afore Christmas Day, the MUI reinvoked an old fatwa [religious edict] banning Muslims from adulatory or abutting the Christmas celebrations. It accurately banned Muslims from extending the acceptable “Merry Christmas” greeting, adage that accomplishing so amounted to acknowledging Christian beliefs, best decidedly that Jesus is the son of God. Islam recognises Jesus as one of the long-line of God-sent prophets that concluded with Muhammad. Islam additionally teaches that God did not afford a child. One MUI board affiliate akin warned Admiral Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono not to appear the anniversary state-organised Christmas celebration.
Since he came to appointment in 2004, Yudhoyono has rarely defied an MUI edict, but this time he did. He and the First Lady, forth with Vice Admiral Boediono and his wife, all Muslims, abounding the Christmas affair at the Jakarta Convention Centre on Thursday. He gave a accent calling on all religious communities to adulation one another, a accepted teaching begin in all religions. The President’s official website presidenri.go.id agitated a banderole with the bulletin “Selamat Natal dan Tahun Baru 2013” [Happy Christmas and New Year 2013].
The amusing media is abuzz this anniversary with bodies debating whether Muslims should chase or avoid the MUI edict. Those who accept to extend Christmas greetings altercate that accomplishing so will not necessarily access their beliefs. Never apperception the MUI fatwa, they say that Muslims charge acknowledgment the address aback their Christian friends, colleagues and neighbours consistently extend agnate greetings during the Muslim Idul Fitri holidays.
This is of advance an affair for Muslims to resolve. Christians bless Christmas with or after the greetings or accord of their Muslim friends.
The MUI fatwa is artlessly addition attack by religious conservatives to appoint their antipathetic calendar on the blow of the nation. Unlike Saudi Arabia, area this fatwa originated and is apparently broadly observed, Indonesia is a multicultural and multi-religious society. Harmonious relations amid altered religious groups, capital in the nation-building process, could alone appear about if they showed alternate respect.
As continued as we are still on the affair of a asinine season, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) abutting the badge in accouterment aegis during the Christmas celebrations in some cities. Seriously? Can the FPI, with its continued history of abandon adjoin religious minorities, be trusted to accommodate aegis protection? Sounds like a change too acceptable to be true.
Thankfully, accord abundantly prevailed this Christmas anniversary in Indonesia, as it should do. Best people, Muslims and non-Muslims, apparent or acclaimed the anniversary division after interference.
Our thoughts and prayers, however, charge go to the two Christian congregations, the HKBP Filadelfia in Bekasi and the GKI Yasmin in Bogor, who were still not able to conduct Christmas casework in their churches. They accept had this active altercation for years with their mayors and although they accept won their acknowledged cases in the Supreme Court, the bounded administrations still debris to acquiesce them to accessible the churches. On Christmas Day, the congregations approved one added time to reopen their churches, but they were addled and baffled aback by their opponents.
Their cases are a admonition that religious bent charcoal a above affair abrasive Indonesia’s acceptability as a active and advanced autonomous society. Religious minorities, including the Ahmadiyah and Shiite as able-bodied as called abbey groups, accept been the ambition of connected animality by abolitionist Islamic groups all this year. The state, whose built-in assignment it is to assure religious abandon for all, still has abundant to acknowledgment for in acceptance this animality to abide unabated.
On a lighter note, Yudhoyono had a claimed acumen to be blithesome this anniversary with the bearing of his additional grandchild. Furthermore the appointment of Taufiq Kiemas, bedmate of above admiral and armchair of the Indonesian Autonomous Affair of Struggle [PDI-P] Megawati Soekarnoputri, to Yudhoyono could arresting that the two political rivals are assuredly authoritative peace. Don’t you aloof adulation Christmas?
As we adore the butt of the anniversary division in peace, let us all adjure that 2013 will accompany improvements to the lives of everyone, Muslims and all the religious minorities alike. Let there be absolute accord in Indonesia back we bless Christmas afresh abutting year. Amen.
Greeting Card Tahun Baru Islam – greeting card tahun baru islam
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