Tag Archives: keragaman

A Rise Against Ignorance

Now that Abubakar Ba’asyir was sentenced to 15 years in jail, will the act of terrorism and bombings no longer exists in Indonesia? According to some experts, considering the nature of the ‘jihadi virus‘ which is resilient and mutates, we will still see more of attacks, because the virus is passed from friends to friends, families to families. Worse, using religious doctrines and taking advantages of the low-educated society, this virus has found a suitable place to grow.

When it comes to God, religion, and faith, somehow our people are easily indoctrinated without further questioning, because they fear the doubts will make them sinful, for have been disbelieving God’s rules. It is sinful to be critical.

But if the ‘jihadi virus’ can be passed easily, why can’t the virus of ‘peace, tolerance, and respect‘ also spreads to our society, dominating their beliefs and take over the violent ones?

Why did my 6 year-old nephew once asks, “Auntie, the woman hosting this TV show is a Christian. She shouldn’t be allowed to live in Indonesia.” I delivered this question to his parents and they easily replied, “He went to this Islam kindergarten, and perhaps his teacher taught him about other religion. It’s not a big deal.”

Not a big deal?

Living in big cities cause depression for some people. Hatred is something that can easily be injected to young generations, who are having peer pressures and struggling with their own identity. And in small villages, without access to adequate information, the condition is worse. No one dare to have any questions about their faith, no one have the courage to be critical, and this fear is transferred from parents to their children, grandchildren, and so on. Some of them even have the motto of “In Islam boarding schools we trust,” or “In mystical practitioner (a.k.a Dukun) we trust!

So basically I agree with the plan to NOT only fight against terrorism, but also to prevent the virus from spreading to our young generations at the first place. And when we speak about the young people, we are talking about low-educated parents who are already ‘infected‘ by an even dangerous virus of ignorance.

We still have a complicated homework to finish.

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Blame It On The “Religion”

In a country where poverty, unemployment, and traffic jam have become common issues, Indonesia is also known as one of the world’s most populous and religious country.

What does this mean?

In my simple words, it means that we, Indonesians, believe in God. We use religion as guidance on how to live this life. But in my skeptic words, it means that you keep a religion just to be safe from hell. Now, which are you? Those who keep religion because you need it, or those who are afraid of the punishment?

I read this morning in some blogs, that in order to create a “noble” and successful generation, parents must stress the importance of religion to their children. According to the writer, our lack of morality was caused by parents who have neglected and forgot to stress the importance of religion to their children.

I don’t blame him, or parents, or whoever-you-are to have believed this “religious” strategy, but I’m not perfectly sure of the result either. If you use religion and its fear-of-punishment strategy to protect your child against modernization devils such as teen pregnancy, pornography, homosexuality, and even criminality, you should be prepare for unexpected results. Why? Because it eliminates the “common sense” factor of human biology, media influence, and the increasing accessibility of modern information technology.

Moral issues isn’t something that can only be taught through religion, although religion does teach us about morality. But what about the universal law of “do unto others as you would have them do to you?” To me, it is pretty clear that you are not allowed to steal anything from anyone, not because religion forbids you, not because you’re going to be fried in hell, but because you are causing pain and discomfort to other people!

That is why I prefer basic moralities concepts first and religion later, as a strategy to guide anyone to be kind, polite, and, properly behaved according to the society. I also think that it is better for children to learn about religion at later stages of their life instead of being bombarded by doctrines since the very beginning of their life. I don’t disagree with religious parents, but if you don’t give your child adequate reasons which was based on the universal law of kindness, be prepared if one day fear itself will not stop them from being and a**hole loser (or a bomber, your choice).

Without a proper and sufficient understanding about basic moralities, anyone could possibly get lost in religious doctrines. This theory has recently got its support with the outbreak of NII and their brain-wash strategy. It’s amazing how religion and its fear-of-punishment could do to someone, isn’t it? It haunts them and took over their common sense, making them believe that killing in the name of God, and hating someone else for having different religions, is acceptable.

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Film “?” Haram, So What…?!!!

Gonjang-ganjing MUI akan mengharamkan film “?” karya Hanung Bramantyo mendapat kecaman keras dari penduduk timeline twitter saya. Walaupun keputusan tersebut belum final, banyak pihak menyayangkan dan mengkhawatirkan dampak fatwa MUI tersebut terhadap kemajuan perfilman, budaya dan tentu saja pola pikir masyarakat luas terhadap keragaman agama di Indonesia.

Saya memang belum menonton film tersebut, tetapi setelah membaca wawancara antara Filmoo dengan Mas Hanung, saya bisa memahami (walaupun sulit untuk menerima) alasan  MUI, yang salah satunya (menurut saya) adalah adegan pindah agama yang dilakukan oleh karakter di film tersebut. Seperti yang saya sendiri alami sejak kecil, di setiap pelajaran agama Islam, perbuatan tersebut dianggap sebagai perbuatan tidak terpuji (walaupun belum tentu haram, tolong koreksi jika ada yang bisa menjelaskan?).

Satu hal yang perlu kita ingat adalah asumsi MUI akan haram tidaknya film “?” berangkat dari sudut pandang ajaran agama Islam, bukan dari sudut pandang kebebasan individu.

Jika kita menuntut kebebasan individu untuk menyaring sendiri makna film “?” sesuai persepsi kita, maka seharusnya kita juga membiarkan MUI berteriak sesuai keyakinan mereka bahwa menonton film tersebut adalah haram.

Menurut saya itulah bentuk keadilan yang sesungguhnya. Inilah bentuk keragaman yang sebenarnya. Siapa yang memaksa kita untuk punya pola pikir sama dengan MUI? Tidak ada. Lalu kenapa MUI harus punya pemikiran yang sama seperti kita?

Saya pikir kita tidak perlu takut dengan fatwa haram yang dikeluarkan oleh MUI. Tanpa perlu fatwa, perbuatan mencuri jelas-jelas haram hukumnya, tapi toh tiap hari ada saja sepeda motor hilang. Kalau ada yang merasa fatwa MUI mengharamkan film “?” ditunggangi oleh kepentingan politik, saya malah mau tanya, berapa banyak diantara kalian yang mengolok MUI sebagai kesempatan untuk memperolok ajaran agama Islam yang tidak kalian sukai?

Hanung Bramantya sendiri, melalui film “?” ingin menyampaikan pesan: “Saya ingin mengajak semua memaknai lagi masih pentingkah kita berbeda. Terus yang kedua masih pentingkah kita beragama.

1) Tidak penting untuk berbeda, semua orang berhak punya pendapatnya masing-masing, biarpun berbeda, kita masih bisa saling menghormati.

2) Beragama adalah kebebasan tiap individu. Jika Mas Hanung merasa tidak penting untuk beragama, silakan saja. Tapi jika Mas Hanung menghargai perbedaan, maka menurut saya Mas Hanung harus menghargai orang-orang yang menganggap penting agama.

Sementara mulai pagi ini beberapa orang di timeline saya habis-habisan menghujat MUI. Dan mereka mengaku sebagai orang yang berpola-pikir modern, bebas, menghargai perbedaan? Apa nggak salah nih.. Yakin?

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Benarkah Hidup Perempuan Belum Lengkap Tanpa Anak?

A Mother And Her Baby

Sebuah artikel di Kompas Female menuliskan sesuatu tentang perempuan dan keputusan untuk memiliki anak. Begini bunyinya: “lengkapnya hidup Anda sebagai perempuan tidak hanya ditentukan oleh kemampuan mempunyai anak.” Setuju? Tidak setuju? Atau ragu-ragu?

Jawaban saya, Ya dan Tidak.

Ya, karena perempuan (layaknya manusia dengan jenis kelamin lain), tidak hanya diberkahi kemampuan berkembang biak tapi juga segudang kemampuan lain yang melengkapi dirinya (dan diri orang lain juga, sering kali). Kita bisa bekerja, mencari uang, berprestasi di bidang apapun. Masih ingat film  Monalisa Smile yang dibintangi si cantik Julia Roberts? Disitu ia berperan sebagai guru yang memotivasi anak didiknya untuk tidak terburu-buru menikah dan berkeluarga.

Tidak setuju, karena pada akhirnya ketika perempuan telah siap, dia akan merasa tidak lengkap tanpa kehadiran anak. Sebuah acara di BBC Knowledge berjudul Tribal Wives membuka mata saya, betapa seorang perempuan di Inggris yang menghabiskan hampir seluruh hidupnya untuk mengejar karir, akhirnya memutuskan untuk tidak menerima tawaran pekerjaan baru yang menggiurkan (dari sisi materi), dengan alasan: “I want to have a life.

Segala sesuatu selalu memiliki dua sisi yang menuntut kita untuk berfikir sesuai kondisi masing-masing. Ini bukan masalah kesetaraan gender atau emansipasi dimana perempuan juga berhak untuk mengejar karir. Bukan juga kondisi dimana perempuan yang memutuskan menikah muda dan segera memiliki anak lantas dianggap peninggalan bersejarah. Setiap orang, termasuk perempuan memiliki prioritas dan life purpose yang berbeda.

Beberapa diantara kita menempuh jalan menunda kehadiran anak untuk meraih keinginan. Sementara beberapa diantara kita justru melakukan sebaliknya, juga untuk meraih keinginannya. Tidak ada yang salah, karena semua bertumpu pada keinginan pribadi setiap perempuan.

Yang terpenting adalah untuk menghadirkan anak ketika kita memang sudah siap mental (dan finansial). Bukan karena paksaan lingkungan, bukan karena usia yang makin mengejar (walaupun faktor fertilitas kita dipengaruhi olehnya), dan yang jelas bukan karena “kecelakaan.”

Menjadi ibu adalah sesuatu yang bersifat naluriah, ketika perempuan siap menerima tanggung jawab mulia ini, maka hidup akan terasa semakin indah. Karena insting untuk mengasuh memang sudah ada di diri kita sebagai kodrat perempuan, tetapi kapan insting itu tampil di permukaan akan tergantung pada kesiapan yang tentu saja berbeda untuk tiap individu.

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Bhinneka Tunggal Ika: The Forgotten Legacy

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is our country’s rule in accepting differences. If anyone asked us the meaning of it, there’s no doubt we can give a prompt and correct answer. But when the question continues to “Have you implement the principals of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika in your everyday lives?” some of us will need time to think. We know the meaning of it, but we’re still uncertain on whether we or other members of the society have implemented it, or rejected it instead.

With so many violence and disintegration dominating the local and international news lately, it seems as if the strength of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika no longer influenced and protected us from fear of being different. From the most extreme religious organizations to our-very-own-selves as the smallest member of society, we have undoubtedly forgotten the importance of staying united.

It’s sad, but it’s a fact, that one of our oldest cultural legacy about the principal of heterogeneity and accepting diversity, has lost its power to unite this colorful country as one.

Often beyond our conscience, we are rejecting differences in order to be aligned with mainstream society and their opinion. When the majority is allowing (or supporting this hatred for diversity), after a certain time everyone will see it as normal, thus create a new culture: self-superiority and pressure for the minority.

I have a friend who feared the influence of different race, as an example. She believed that going to the same school with kids from different race will have a negative impact towards her son.

How can we teach our children and embrace the concept of diversity if we don’t let them ‘touch’ and acquainted different race, religion and ethnicity in the first place?

Another sad example of race discrimination happened to my friend who was applying for a job, and got rejected by the employer because he doesn’t have a certain race and ethnicity. It’s already hard enough for us to find jobs these days, and yet there are still many companies who only accept their own race as employees.

Racial discrimination is not the only problem this country is facing. On a bigger scale, religion continuously used as the reason behind violence and stupid actions. I have a 5 year-old niece who went to this expensive Islamic School asked me “Auntie, is it true that if we were not a Muslim, we will go to hell?” He heard it from friends, and they got it from their parents.

More and more educational institutions are using religion as their identity and marketing strategy and as an answer for high demands from parents who felt it is safer to enroll their children to religious-based schools. Of course there are also big problems such as the discrimination against Ahmadiyah, or the (somehow funny and) confusing statements from MUI (Indonesian Council of Ulema) chairman regarding our national anthem and salutation of the red-white flag.

The recent case is FPI’s statements towards underground music (and musicians), which creates another fear for our youth to have their freedom of expression protected. The way I see it, underground scene has never did any act of violence. And if some people saw it as the music of satan, I personally think that sinetrons and mystical tv shows are barbaric.

But if I want people to respect my choice, then I must learn to respect theirs.

Let’s forget all those major heartbreaking issues for a while, and try to have a look at our own beliefs and respond towards diversity. In the end, every people will have their own definition of good and bad, and like it or not, we must respect their decision. If most of the people said that we have to defend what we believe, than perhaps we must counter the cultural beliefs.

These are bitter truths about the culture of Indonesia. But we live in a country which will always be diversified. We can’t blame anyone for any discrimination if we are keep doing it towards others. As a start, I need to stop discriminating parents who adore religious schools, and I need to accept the fact that most people just couldn’t live without sinetrons.

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(As posted on my “JabberGibber – IMO Blog” post)

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