Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's The Matter With Indonesia?

This is the kind of story that warms my heart. See, I love it when American journalists go abroad, their lips pursed, their heads shaking, wondering how Indonesia can survive.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim majority nation and has drawn praise for its evolution into a vibrant democracy. It's a country of more than 17,000 islands, with more than 300 ethnic groups who speak about 740 languages. But recent cases of persecution of religious minorities have led some to question whether Indonesia is still living up to its reputation for pluralism and tolerance.
The persecuted include atheists as well as minority Muslim sects, such as the Shia and Ahmadiyya. Hundreds of churches have been closed in recent years, including, most recently, 17 house churches this month in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia where Shariah, or Islamic law, is in effect.(emphasis added)
It's America's western, Christian heritage that makes it so much better than Indonesia, I think.

As soon as mainstream journalists start wondering the same thing about pluralism in America in the face of racist, religiously motivated hate and violence, I might be more inclined to hear about places like poor Indonesia and its prospects for survival as a pluralist society.

Virtual Tin Cup

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