LETTER: The real facts on religion in Indonesia

THE letter from Glenda Carroll, Bundamba on Indonesia (QT 19/09) contains some glaring errors and some even more glaring omissions.

There is no such thing as a understanding of Islam, Islam Nusantara, that is unique to Indonesia.

It is simply a convenient Indonesian term, Islam of the Archipelago, coined for the 2015 conference of Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation, Nadhlatul Ulama, describing the variety of understandings of Islam that occur in the country.

These understandings are found, to some degree, in every Muslim nation in the world.

Java has a religion, variously called Kebatinan, Kejawen, Agama Jawa or Kepercayaan, which is an amalgam of Islam and the pre-existing Javanese Hindu/Buddhist religion.

It is practised by a small minority only in Java. It is not recognised as being part of Islam by government and Islamic religious authorities.

The provincial law of Aceh contains some elements of sharia.

Such laws are not and cannot be contrary to either Indonesian national law or to the Constitution.

There are no laws in any province that are contrary to national law or the Constitution.

Several have been attempted but have been overturned by the Constitutional Court. Every provincial government including Aceh's is elected every 5 years by a very vigorous democratic process.

Ms Carroll also failed to mention that the 20 churches pulled down in Aceh were illegally constructed without a permit.

The same thing has happened to buildings in Ipswich.

KEN ALDERTON

Ipswich



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