News / Asia

Indonesia’s President to Propose Global Blasphemy Protocol

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (file photo)Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (file photo)
x
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (file photo)
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (file photo)
Kate Lamb
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is to address a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York Tuesday,  to propose an international protocol against religious blasphemy.  But - even as so-called Muslim rage flares across the globe - critics say the proposal is insincere and that the Indonesian president should take care of problems at home, first.  

At the height of the anti-Islamic blowback partially fueled by the provocative amateur film The Innocence of Muslims, some 1,000 Islamic hardliners staged a violent protest at the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, earlier this month.  

Designed to prevent tensions from rising further, the Indonesian government - emulating similar government reactions in Libya, Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore - blocked the film from being viewed on-line in the country.

Now, the Indonesian president is taking it a step further. During his address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, President Yudhoyono is expected to propose an international protocol against religious defamation, to prevent religious motivated violence and promote global peace.

But Phil Robertson, deputy director at Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, says the proposal is hypocritical.

“There is a high level of hypocrisy;  by saying that he is going to be the champion of religious moderation and religious tolerance at the international level, while he has basically presided over a significant decline in religious tolerance in Indonesia,” said Robertson.
 
Although Indonesia likes to present the image that it is a moderate, Muslim-majority democracy, only six religions are allowed.

And, in recent years, the president has attracted criticism for failing to take a stand against Islamic vigilantes and to protect the rights of religious minority groups from vengeful and sometimes fatal attacks.

Ironically, it was just a few months ago that United Nations Human Rights Commission recommended that Indonesia revoke its own blasphemy law, given the effect it has had on curbing religious freedom.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Andi from: Indonesia
September 26, 2012 11:31 PM
...what about Ahmadiyah, difficulty to held church service in bogor, sunni-shiah conflict in madura island ??....your speech only to please particular religion called "peaceful religion" ....what a shame ..you better solve religion problem in your country and action that reflect your Pancasila and bhinneka tunggal ika before talking like that in the UN Assembly

by: KampungHighlander from: Jakarta
September 25, 2012 4:24 PM
Perhaps if Indonesia didn't allow the persecution of religious minorities and atheists by gangs of religious thugs then the words of the President might carry some weight.

by: JJJohnson from: Canada
September 25, 2012 12:52 PM
Mosques blare loud speaker all night.. isn't that blasphemy (or abuse) against other religions in the country? Stop the amplified screaming - and then the President may get some respect for his opinions.
In Response

by: Daffy from: Indonesia
September 25, 2012 10:26 PM
Yudhoyono is truly a big hypocrite. We are the christian as the minority can't build our own church with our own money in the non-muslim housing complex. This will not the case for the muslim who want to build their own mosque with government funding.
In fact, it is much easier to get a permit for a massage parlor (which many turn into hidden prostitution) than for building non muslim prayer house.

He actually agreed with radical muslim movement because he didn't do anything about it. Almost all his political party coalition are from the muslim political parties.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More