Sponsorship and ignorant to Shia rights violations by governmental branches in Indonesia has become a worrisome for many human rights NGOs.
Indonesia is Sunni majority country, with a small yet growing Shia minority. Shia Muslims have been increasingly attacked for practicing their faith, even in the privacy of their homes yet the government of Indonesia is not taking steps to prevent the increasing violations.
Indonesia has a few branches of government that has either sponsored or ignored the Shia violence. The Council of Ulema. The main role of this council is to provide Fatwa’s (A scholarly point of view of Islamic law) to the people of Indonesia. Shia, Sufi’s, and Ahmadiyya are not allowed in Council of Ulema. This directly goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 21 in which Indonesia signed and agreed to protect and maintain. Article 21 states that “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.: Shia, Sufi, and Ahmadiyya are not given a fair chance to be represented or take part in the government.
Tardjono Abu Muas, a well know cleric in Indonesia has enabled violations in his speeches. Most of his lectures and sermons seem to be about dissolution of Shia Islam in Indonesia. Muas is the head of Anti Shia Alliance who believes anyone who is deviant from true teaches of Islam, needs to convert or be punished. Tardjono created a conference for Anti-Shia in April of 2014 and openly preached hatred towards Shia, and other sects of Islam he viewed as deviant.
The government has not done anything to stop or condemn this conference, or any anti Shia hate. The Governor of West Java Province Ahmad Heryawan has publicly supported the Anti Shia Alliance. In fact many government officals was in attendence at this confrence. The Council of Ulema has not spoken out against the conference of this organization. Ahmad bin Zein Al Kaff, the head of the Anti-Heresy Front which is an government branch, said that Indonesia must be cleansed of Shia teaching. At this confrence Muas was also urging people to vote, for non-Shia in the upcoming election. The fear and insecurity that Shia Muslims report from Indonesia prevents them from practicing their right to freedom of religion which is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Right Article 18.
The Indonesian government says that will give freedoms of rights and religion but they believe they have to monitor and watch it because they are a Muslim country. This concept of having freedom yet regulating it in a violent style is not considered practical freedom according to Shia Rights Watch . A country cannot give freedom to their citizens yet regulate it by arrestments and punishments of those who practice their right to it.
By Skye Thompson