No Islamophobia in Indonesia: Minister

No Islamophobia in Indonesia: Minister

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD emphasized that there was no excessive fear of Islam or Muslims in Indonesia.

“There is no more fear of Islam, as there is no Islamophobia in this country perpetrated by the state,” the minister stated at the 2022 National Santri Day Commemoration event themed “State’s Ideology, Student’s Ideology.”

The event was hosted at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Office, here on Friday

In fact, students of Islamic schools were government-recognized institutions, with the government dedicating October 22 as National Santri Day, he remarked.

“There is also no shame in admitting to be Muslim. In the past, it felt like Muslims were shy, seen as tacky, but now, it is no more, because there is also no Islamophobia. (These) students are not inferior in achievements to students, who are not of Islamic boarding schools,” he explained.

According to the minister, the vertical mobility of santri in Indonesia was clear evidence that there had never been Islamophobia in Indonesia.

“This all refutes the allegation that there is Islamophobia in Indonesia. The santri can develop through faster vertical mobility precisely because there is no Islamophobia in this country,” he noted.

He explained that Islamophobia only occurred in individuals in society, in which the santri — or students of Islamic boarding schools — were deemed as backward people. He believes that if this happens individually, then there would also be a phobia of other religions.

“If it happens in society, then in society, there is also buddhaphobia, there is christianophobia, there is hinduphobia, not just Islamophobia, if (we see it based on) behavior of individuals in society; but this country and nation has no Islamophobia at all,” the minister noted.

He said that currently, the santri were making extraordinary progress and had experienced extraordinary upward vertical social mobility.

“There are those who have become presidents, vice presidents, have (dabbled in) various professions, (such as) merchants, officials, academics, leaders of mass organizations, politicians, governors, heads of district, and mayors, and there are even writers, artists, who are very influential in Indonesia,” he remarked.

In fact, in everyday life, santri and Islamic culture are already alive, such as the habit of dressing in Islamic fashion on major campuses, such as the University of Indonesia, Bandung University of Technology, and Gadjah Mada University. He stated that President Jokowi and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin also often invited santris to visit the State Palace.

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