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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid