February 28, 2013

II. Laws and Institutions that Facilitate Discrimination and Abuse

The Indonesian government has through its constitution and international treaties committed to respect the right to religious freedom. Religious freedom has been part of the Indonesian constitution since independence in 1945. In 2005 Indonesia ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which provides under article 18(2) that “[n]o one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice,” and under article 27 that “persons belonging to ... minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion.”

The UN Human Rights Committee, the international expert body that monitors state compliance with the ICCPR, stated in its General Comment 22 that it “views with concern any tendency to discriminate against any religion or belief for any reason, including the fact that they … represent religious minorities that may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious community.” [62] Moreover, the fact that a religion’s followers comprise the majority of the population does not permit “any discrimination against adherents to other religions or non-believers.” [63] In February 2013, the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeld, warned that elements of a draft Indonesian law on mass organizations“can violate freedom of religion or belief.” [64] Bielefeld, along with the special rapporteurs on freedom of association and expression, urged the government to revise the bill “in line with international human rights norms and standards .” [65]

In 2004, the Indonesian parliament passed the Autonomy Law which decentralizes many aspects in the administration of the country. It empowers new groups locally, Islamist and otherwise, as well as empowering local officials to act with less regard for what's said in the capital by officials or judges. But on paper, religion is not decentralized. It is one of the six areas where local governments are not given the mandate to regulate: foreign affairs, defense, security, justice, monetary plus fiscal, and religion.[66] 

Despite Indonesian legal guarantees of religious freedom, several laws and policies have long undermined the right. Over the last 60 years various legal measures, including the establishment of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in 1946, the 1965 blasphemy law, the 1969 and 2006 house of worship decrees, and other statutes and regulations at national, provincial, and regency levels have facilitated discrimination against minority faiths. This section examines the most significant of those measures.

The 2000 Constitutional Amendment

Article 29 of Indonesia’s Constitution, agreed in 1945, states:

  1. The state is based on belief in the One and Only God;
  2. (2) The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief.[67]

On August 18, 2000, the constitution was amended in ways that in some respects strengthened the principle of religious freedom. [68] Article 28E (2) broadly guarantees the human rights of Indonesian citizens, and specifically addresses religious freedom, stating that “[e]ach person is free to worship and to practice the religion of his choice.”

But article 28J (2), also introduced in 2000, sets out legal duties that in practice are being used to curb religious freedom, particularly of religious minorities: In exercising his rights and liberties, each person has the duty to accept the limitations determined by law for the sole purposes of guaranteeing the recognition and respect of the rights and liberties of other people and of satisfying a democratic society's just demands based on considerations of morality, religious values, security, and public order.

The latter provision has been and continues to be invoked to demand that religious minorities cater to the demands of the religious majority. By 2010, Indonesia had at least 156 statutes, regulations, decrees, and by-laws that restrict religious freedom, many of them justified by reference to article 28J (2).[69]

Among the most significant legal obstacles to religious freedom in Indonesia are:

  • The 1965 blasphemy law, enacted under President Sukarno;
  • A joint ministerial decree regarding proselytizing of religion signed by the ministers of religious affairs and home affairs (No. 1/1979), titled “Regulating Missionary and Foreign Aid to Religious Organizations”;
  • Child Protection Act No. 23/2002, enacted under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which includes articles “to protect” the faith of a child even when adopted;
  • A joint regulation issued by the ministers of religious affairs and home affairs (No. 8 and No. 9/2006), titled “Guidelines for Regional Heads and Deputies in Maintaining Religious Harmony, Empowering the Religious Harmony Forum, and Constructing Houses of Worship”;
  • A joint decree issued by the minister of religious affairs, the attorney general, and minister of home affairs (No. 3/2008) ordering the Ahmadiyah to stop spreading their teachings.[70]

The 1965 Blasphemy Law

Pressure from Muslim conservatives led to the passage of an overbroad and vague criminal law on blasphemy during Sukarno’s rule. Article 156a of the Indonesian Criminal Code states:

Any person who deliberately, in public, expresses feelings or commits an act: which principally has the character of being of hostility, hatred, or contempt against a religion adhered to in Indonesia; with the purpose of preventing a person adhering to any religion based on the belief of the Almighty God shall be punished up to a maximum imprisonment of five years.[71]

This criminal provision was based on a presidential decree issued by President Sukarno on blasphemy, signed on January 27, 1965, responding to requests from Muslim conservatives. The explanation of the decree clarified that the religions “embraced by the people of Indonesia” encompass “Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.” In a later paragraph, it states that, “other religions, for example, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism and Taoism, shall be left alone providing that provisions found in this ruling and other laws are not violated.”

A common interpretation of the blasphemy law is that Indonesia officially recognizes only six religions. The Constitutional Court has since ruled that this interpretation is incorrect. It ruled that Indonesia recognizes whatever religions its citizens believe in. But it only protects six religions from blasphemy.[72]

Since 2005, more than a dozen people have been prosecuted for blasphemy including:

  • Yusman Roy, a Muslim preacher, sentenced in 2005 by the Malang district court, East Java, to two years’ imprisonment for reciting a Muslim prayer in Indonesian Malay, which, according to the Indonesian Ulama Council, tarnished the purity of the Arabic-language prayer;[73]
  • Lia Eden, M. Abdul Rachman, and Wahyu Andito Putro Wibisono, three leaders of a spiritual group called the “Eden Community” in Jakarta, sentenced in 2006 by a Jakarta court to prison terms of between two and three years. Lia Eden claimed to have received revelations from the Angel Gabriel;[74]
  • Dedi Priadi and Gerry Lufthy Yudistira, father and son, members of Al-Qiyadah Al-Islamiyah sufi sect, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in May 2008 by the Padang court, West Sumatra, for blasphemy.[75]
  • Antonius Richmond Bawengan, a preacher and a former Catholic, sentenced in 2011 by the Temanggung district court, Central Java, to five years in prison for distributing a booklet said to desecrate Islam entitled “Three Sponsors, Three Agendas, Three Results” in Kranggan, a small village near Temanggung, in October 2010;[76]
  • Alexander An, a Minangkabao civil servant and an administrator of the “Minang Atheist” Facebook group, sentenced in June 2012 by the Sijunjung court, West Sumatra, to 30 months in prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah (US$11,000) for inciting public unrest via his Facebook page. He was initially charged under the blasphemy law as well as article 28 of the Information and Electronic Transactions Law. The court, however, only used the internet law for the verdict.[77]
  • Andreas Guntur, the leader of the spiritual group Amanat Keagungan Ilahi, sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in March 2012 by the Klaten court, Central Java, for drawing upon certain verses of the Quran but not abiding by other conventional Islamic teachings. Guntur’s group was condemned by the Indonesian Ulama Council, which issued a fatwa against it in 2009.[78]
  • Tajul Muluk, a Shia cleric in Sampang, Madura Island, arrested in April 2012, and tried and sentenced to two years in prison in July 2012 by the Sampang court for blasphemy.[79] In September 2012, the East Java high court had his sentence changed to four years. He appealed again and the Supreme Court kept the four years punishment in January 2013.[80]
  • Sebastian Joe, a Muslim in Ciamis, sentenced to four years imprisonment for blasphemy in November 2012 by the Ciamis court, West Java, for his comments about Islam on his Facebook page. In January 2013, the West Java court changed the sentence to five years, using the Information and Electronic Transactions Law.[81]

In October 2009 activists challenged the blasphemy law at the Constitutional Court. Led by former President Abdurrahman Wahid, the petitioners argued that the law violates the constitutional right to freedom of expression and Indonesia's obligations under international human rights treaties.[82]

Two government ministers called as witnesses, Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali and Minister for Law and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar, argued in favor of the law’s constitutionality. They said Muslim mobs would probably attack religious minorities if the blasphemy law were overturned, believing it their duty to defend their religion if Islam is being tarnished.[83] Members of Islamist groups attended the Constitutional Court's weekly hearings, and some Islamist members harassed lawyers and witnesses for the petitioners at the court building.[84]

On April 19, 2010, the court ruled 8 to 1 that the blasphemy law lawfully restricted minority religious beliefs because it allows for the maintenance of “public order.” While the court majority said that religion is a private matter with which the state should not interfere, it upheld the blasphemy law's restrictions, finding that religious minorities could become targets of violence by intolerant members of the public who were not sufficiently educated to support religious pluralism. The court also concluded that the blasphemy law was not about recognizing “official religions” in Indonesia.[85]

In the court’s only dissenting opinion, Judge Maria Farida Indrati argued the blasphemy law should be found unconstitutional because it explicitly discriminates against religious minorities and would force individuals to abandon traditional and minority beliefs against their will. [86]

Decrees on Houses of Worship

Decrees pronounced in 1969 and 2006 infringe upon the right to freedom of religion by unnecessarily restricting the construction of houses of worship. These regulations have especially been used to discriminate against Christians who seek to build churches. In rare cases, they have also been used in Christian-majority eastern Indonesia against Muslims who seek to build mosques.

Some Muslims in Indonesia have expressed concern with the purported “Christianization” of Indonesia. [87] While the statistics show an increase in Christians as a proportion of the Indonesia population as a whole, as noted above, the increase is small (from 7.4 percent in 1971 to 8.9 percent in 2010). However, an increase in proselytization by some Christian sects, in some instances what has been perceived as aggressive proselytization in traditionally Muslim areas (sometimes with funding from overseas Christian groups), has fueled the debate.

1969 Decree on Houses of Worship

The 1969 decree on building houses of worship was jointly issued by the minister of religious affairs, Mohammad Dahlan, and the minister of home affairs, Amir Machmud.[88] The decree authorizes local governments to require that “a house of worship may only be built with the approval of a regional administrator,” such as the provincial governor. It also states that, “if necessary, the head of the government could ask the opinion of religious organizations and clerics” before a house of worship is built.[89]

Immediately after the decree was enacted, some governors responded by issuing new local regulations that in practice restricted minority religions. For example, the West Java governor required that a new house of worship should have the approval of at least 40 citizens living in the neighborhood, while other governments, mayors, and regents asked the church to get “prior approval” from “religious leaders” in their respective areas.[90] In 1979, in Singkil, southern Aceh, on Sumatra, the local government demanded that Christians sign an agreement to have only one church and four chapels despite there already being 14 churches in the area.[91]

While such regulations ostensibly apply to all religions, in practice they have been used to discriminate against religious minorities. Christians in a number of different regions have faced extensive difficulties in securing church construction permits, including but not exclusively in areas where there has been recent demographic change, such as increased settlement by Christian families in traditionally Muslim areas. In some cases, it has taken between 10 and 20 years to construct a church building. Muslim militants have also used the decree to justify vandalizing and sometimes even burning what they call “illegal churches.”

The Communion of Churches in Indonesia, the umbrella organization of Protestant churches, repeatedly asked the government to repeal the 1969 decree. In an effort to overcome the impact of the various regulations based on the 1969 decree, hundreds of Christian congregations in Muslim-dominated islands began to organize their services in private houses. [92] However, in 1975, Minister of Home Affairs Amir Machmud instructed provincial governments by telegram to prohibit the use of “private homes” for religious services, further restricting religious freedom. While the cable lacked legal status, it continues to be enforced today in some areas. [93]

2006 Decree on Houses of Worship

Indonesian presidents since Suharto have tried to address the problems caused by the houses of worship decree, but without success. After taking office in 2004, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met a delegation of Christian leaders and agreed that the construction of houses of worship should not depend on the majority’s wishes. He asked the minister of religious affairs, Maftuh Basyuni, to review the 1969 decree. [94] Maftuh Basyuni appointed Ma'ruf Amin, the head of the fatwa committee of the Indonesian Ulama Council, himself a presidential advisor, to lead a committee to draft the new decree. [95]

In March 2006, Minister Basyuni and Home Minister Mohammad Ma’ruf amended the 1969 decree by issuing Joint Regulation of the Minister of Religious Affairs and Minister of Home Affairs No. 8 and No. 9/2006, “Guidelines for Regional Heads and Deputies in Maintaining Religious Harmony, Empowering Religious Harmony Forums, and Constructing Houses of Worship.” The decree essentially permits regional governments to continue to license the construction of houses of worship. [96]

The decree provides that the construction of houses of worship should be based on “real needs” and “composition of the population” in the area.[97] A permit for constructing a house of worship requires:

  • List of names and ID cards of at least 90 people who will use the house of worship. This list should be endorsed by the village head;
  • Support letter from at least 60 people living in the area. This support letter should be endorsed by the village head;
  • Written recommendation from the local Ministry of Religious Affairs;
  • Written recommendation from the local Religious Harmony Forum (Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, FKUB).[98]

Local governments are to arrange a “temporary venue” for religious worship if the congregation has met the signature requirements but has not yet received the recommendations.[99] A mayor or a regent should issue a decision within 90 days of the application for a construction permit.[100] A congregation can use an ordinary building as a temporary place of worship with the mayor or regent’s approval.[101]

The decree requires the local government to set up a Religious Harmony Forum in each area.[102] It states that the composition of the local Religious Harmony Forum should mirror the composition of believers in the area, meaning that a Muslim-majority area may have significantly more Muslim members than Christian ones, and vice versa, placing the minority religion at a distinct disadvantage in obtaining a permit.

The Communion of Churches in Indonesia considered the decree more repressive than the 1969 regulation. They dispute the substance of the decree which authorizes local governments to approve or reject house of worship building permits. It also contradicts with the 2004 Autonomy Law. Even so, these Christian leaders felt that, politically, they had no option but to acquiesce and focused their efforts on getting  friendlier articles inserted into the decree, including a provision, ultimately included in the decree, calling on the government to provide a temporary place of worship when a congregation is having trouble obtaining a building permit.[103]

Many public officials disregard this 2004 provision on decentralization, creating various decrees and regulations on Islamic groups. In Blitar, East Java, Major Samahudi Anwar demanded six Catholic schools to teach Quranic recital for their Muslim students. When the schools rejected he threatened to close them down. It prompted the Constitutional Court to remind the major that religion is the domain of the central government.[104]

2008 Anti-Ahmadiyah Decree

In July 2005, the Indonesian Ulama Council reissued an edict originally issued in 1980 that states that the Ahmadiyah community deviates from Quranic teaching by claiming that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a “prophet.”[105] Following the 2005 edict, Islamist groups mobilized and assaulted the Ahmadiyah theology college in Parung, Bogor regency, West Java, as well as Ahmadiyah communities in East Lombok (Lombok island, West Nusa Tenggara province) and in West Java province (including in Manis Lor, Tasikmalaya, Garut, Ciaruteun, and Sadasari).

On April 16, 2008, Indonesia’s Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Badan Koordinasi Pengawas Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat, Bakor Pakem), a subdivision of the Attorney General’s Office, recommended banning the Ahmadiyah faith. Moderate Muslim leaders responded by rallying support for the Ahmadiyah, and the principle of freedom of religion.[106]

Adnan Buyung Nasution, a member of the presidential advisory council, tried to block the decree, asking President Yudhoyono not to pass it. “It will set a precedent against other religions if the Ahmadiyah is discriminated against,” said Nasution.[107] According to Nasution, Yudhoyono asked him to meet with then Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni, Home Minister Mardiyanto, and Attorney General Hendarman Supanji.[108]

The moderates organized a rally in Jakarta on June 1, 2008, hoping to pressure the government not to ban the Ahmadiyah. But Muslim militants attacked the rally, chasing, punching, kicking, and hitting participants with bamboo and rattan sticks. More than 60 people were injured, some seriously.[109] Police arrested Munarman and Habib Rizieq Shihab of the FPI. In October 2008, the Central Jakarta court found them guilty of “mass beatings” and sentenced them both to 18 months in prison.[110]

On June 9, 2008, Religious Affairs Minister Basyuni, Home Minister Mardiyanto, and Attorney General Supanji signed the decree, ordering the Ahmadiyah community to “stop spreading interpretations and activities which deviate from the principal teachings of Islam,” including “the spreading of the belief that there is another prophet with his own teachings after Prophet Mohammed.” Violations of the decree are subject to up to five years in prison. [111]

The 2008 decree opened the door to provincial governors as well as regents and mayors to write their own anti-Ahmadiyah decrees. Jemaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia, the national Ahmadiyah organization, reported in 2011 that five provinces—Banten, East Java, West Java, West Sumatra, and South Sulawesi—as well as 22 mayoralties and regencies in Indonesia had issued anti-Ahmadiyah regulations.[112]

On February 28, 2011, the provincial government in East Java, which has a population of 35 million, banned Ahmadiyah activities, outlawing the display of their mosque and school signs, and their use of “electronic media” to extend their teachings. On March 3, Ahmad Heryawan, the governor of West Java, Indonesia's most populous province, with 36 million people, also banned Ahmadiyah activities.[113] On March 24, West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno prohibited some Ahmadiyah activities including spreading their faith via billboards, oral statements, written materials, and electronic media.[114]

In March, Nasution wrote to Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, calling on local leaders to revoke their decrees: “Religious affairs is the domain of the central government. It’s not the domain of the local governments.”[115] Fauzi rejected the plea, saying that the local decrees did not contradict the national regulation.[116]

Indonesian officials justify the decree by saying it helps prevent further anti-Ahmadiyah violence. A Ministry of Religious Affairs study argues that the destruction of Ahmadiyah mosques has taken place in “many parts of the country” such as Medan (1964), Cianjur (1968), Kuningan (1969), West Nusa Tenggara (1976), Central Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, Surabaya, and Parung in Bogor (1981). As the study concluded: “These incidents of conflict show that the problem of law and order has been there for quite some time.” [117]

But violence against the Ahmadiyah has in fact sharply increased since the issuance of the decree. According to the Jakarta-based Setara Institute, violence rose from three reported incidents in 2006 to 50 in 2010 and 114 in 2011.[118]

Religious Harmony Bill

In October 2011, Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono, Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, and Minister of Home Affairs Gamawan Fauzi submitted a bill on religious harmony to Indonesia’s lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives. [119] The proposed law would regulate religious issues such as proselytization, celebration of religious holidays, construction of houses of worship, funerals and religious education. It emphasizes the responsibilities of religious minorities to protect “religious harmony.”

Religious freedom advocates have opposed the bill on the ground that it would legitimize existing discriminatory regulations including the 1965 blasphemy law, the 2006 ministerial decree on building houses of worship, the 2008 anti-Ahmadiyah decree, and articles in the Child Protection Act.[120]

Religious Institutions in Indonesia

In addition to the various laws and policies that restrict religious freedom, various governmental and quasi-governmental institutions have played a key role in promoting a Sunni Islamic identity in Indonesia at the expense of minority religions.

Ministry of Religious Affairs

In the early 20th century, during Dutch rule, Muslims in Indonesia lobbied to establish an office of Islamic affairs to provide religious education through state-owned madrasahs, to provide religious guidance and information, to organize the hajj pilgrimage management to Mecca, and to organize an Islamic court on such matters as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. [121]

The Ministry of Religious Affairs was set up in 1946, and while many of its programs are tailored towards Islam, it is a multi-religious office. The ministry is currently divided into seven directorates.[122] Three directorates exclusively deal with Muslims: Islamic affairs, hajj management, and Islamic education. The others address Protestant affairs, Catholic affairs, Hindu affairs, and Buddhist affairs, respectively.[123]

The Ministry of Religious Affairs now has branches in every province and regency and a budget of IDR37.3 trillion (US$4.1 billion) for 2011-2012.[124] This is the fourth largest among government agencies after the Ministry of Defense (IDR64.4 trillion), the Ministry of Public Works (IDR61.2 trillion), and the Ministry of Education (IDR57.8 trillion). The Ministry of Religious Affairs’ budget is larger than that of the National Police or the Ministry of Health. The ministry also controls the allocation of funds from the annual hajj pilgrimage (IDR32 trillion in 2010). If both sources of funds are combined, the Ministry of Religious Affairs controls more funds than any other government agency in Indonesia.

In 2010 the Ministry of Religious Affairs employed approximately 230,000 staff, increasing 15 percent from 200,000 in 2007. It owns 1675 Islamic primary schools, 1418 middle schools, 748 high schools, and 20 universities.[125]

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed Suryadharma Ali, the chairman of the Muslim-based United Development Party, part of the ruling coalition, to be the minister of religious affairs in October 2009.[126]

In June 2012, the Corruption Eradication Commission announced an investigation into the Islamic Education Directorate General within the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Officials at the directorate and a parliament member allegedly misappropriated funds set aside for purchasing Qurans in 2010 and 2011. [127]

The Ministry of Religious Affairs plays a key role in government policies on religion, and has taken a strong stance against religious organizations it deems to be heretical. In 1952, the ministry set up a body, the precursor of Bakor Pakem, to monitor and to ban several spiritual movements and native faiths. The ministry also wrote the 1969 and 2006 decrees on building houses of worship. In 2011, Suryadharma Ali helped mobilize anti-Ahmadiyah campaigns in Indonesia by repeatedly calling Ahmadiyah practices blasphemy against Islam and asking the Yudhoyono government to ban the Ahmadiyah. In 2011, the ministry’s East Java office was involved in supporting an MUI anti-Shia edict.[128]

Suryadharma Ali has been outspoken against religious minorities, saying that the government should ban Ahmadiyah and Shia. In March 2011, he said of the Ahmadiyah: “We have two options: to let them live or to totally ban them.… We have to ban the Ahmadiyah. It is obvious that Ahmadiyah is against Islam.” [129] In January 2012, after a meeting with parliamentarians, Suryadharma Ali publicly stated that the Shia faith is “against Islam.” [130]

The ministry is also influential in advising police and prosecutors to take legal action against individuals it deems to have insulted Islam. It was involved in practically all prosecutions against religious minorities in Indonesia in the last decade. In Sampang, on Madura island, in October 2009, the ministry was involved in pressuring a Shia cleric to stop Shia activities in his village.[131] Halim Toha, the head of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Sampang, led the eviction of displaced Shia members from a stadium where they had settled temporarily after running away from their burned hamlet.[132] In Dharmasraya town, West Sumatra, in early 2012, the ministry was involved in the trial of an atheist.[133]

Bakor Pakem

The Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Badan Koordinasi Pengawas Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat, Bakor Pakem) is a coordinating body under Indonesia’s Attorney General’s Office with branches in every province and regency under local prosecutors’ offices. According to the 2004 Public Prosecution Service Law, the Attorney General has the responsibility to provide “oversight in respect of religious beliefs that could endanger society and the state.”[134] Bakor Pakem traditionally sits under the intelligence division of the public prosecution office.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs first established a body to monitor mystical beliefs in 1952. The 1961 Public Prosecution Law authorizes the Attorney General’s Office to host this monitoring body, thus creating Bakor Pakem. It works closely with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the police, the military, and local governments.[135]

Bakor Pakem is extremely influential when it comes to pressing the government to ban religious communities. Bakor Pakem recommended the banning of Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah sect on November 7, 2007, and in two days, the Attorney General’s Office banned the sect. Bakor Pakem recommended the banning of the Ahmadiyah in April 2008. Two months later, Ahmadiyah religious propagation activities were banned.[136]

In the last three decades, various Bakor Pakem offices have called for the banning of more than 30 religions, ranging from native faiths like the Agama Djawa Sunda (1964) to international religions like the Jehovah’s Witness (1976).

Under the Yudhoyono administration, Bakor Pakem has played an active role in the prosecution of religious figures it considers to be committing blasphemy. Bakor Pakem in Sampang regency, on Madura, recommended to the Attorney General’s Office that the Shia faith should be banned in Indonesia. It also organized the prosecution of Shia cleric Tajul Muluk.[137] In Cianjur, Bakor Pakem was involved in the prosecution of Hasan Suwandi, an Ahmadiyah mosque guard, on charges of criminal defamation against a police officer in his neighborhood.[138] In Dharmasraya, West Sumatra, Bakor Pakem led the prosecution of alleged atheist Alexander An.[139]

Asfinawati Ajub, a human rights lawyer in Malang, East Java, who represents Tajul Muluk, has questioned the authority of Bakor Pakem, noting that the 2004 Public Prosecution Law does not specifically authorize the creation of such a body. The law only stipulates that public prosecutors have “preventive and educational” authority when dealing with certain mystical beliefs which might “endanger the people and the state.”[140]

Indonesian Ulama Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI)

The Indonesian Ulama Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) is Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body. It has an advisory council and an executive body with 12 commissions. MUI is a quasi-government agency that issues fatwas and helps shape government policy in Islamic matters. The MUI is partly funded via the Ministry of Religious Affairs or through provincial and local government budgets, but it is not audited by state auditing bodies. It has hundreds of offices throughout Indonesia.[141]

Its central board in Jakarta consists of 273 individuals, including various representatives of Muslim organizations, four cabinet members, politicians, retired generals, academics, businessmen, a novelist, a movie star, a model, and members of Islamist groups. The board includes representatives of every Islamic organization in Indonesia, thus providing a forum for the growing numbers of hardline Islamist groups.[142] Its chairman usually comes either from Muhammadiyah or the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

The council is composed of various Muslim groups, ranging from older organizations such as the Muhammadiyah, the NU, and Persatuan Islam, to newer ones, such as the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, and the FPI. Historically, the MUI has refused to have Shia and Ahmadiyah members, and has subsequently declared both groups heretical. There is no fixed procedure on how an individual can join the MUI. It has no institutional oversight although some Muslim organizations have at times criticized the MUI if they believed the council was not meeting their expectations.

The Indonesian military set up the first ulama council in West Java in July 1958, with similar councils established in regencies and districts throughout the province. The purpose of those councils, according to Col. R.A. Kosasih of the Siliwangi military command, was “to stabilize” West Java against the Darul Islam activities.[143] It was soon copied in other islands with similar movements, including West Sumatra, South Sulawesi and Aceh, where Muslim fighters also tried to set up Islamic states.

The MUI as a national institution was established in 1975 under President Suharto to be a bridge between Muslim leaders and the state. Its main activities were to issue fatwas, strengthen Muslim brotherhood, represent Muslims in meetings with other religious organizations, and act a liaison between ulamas (clerics) and government officials. [144]

The MUI’s remit began expanding in the closing years of the Suharto regime, the MUI issuing fatwas on a variety of issues including halal certification, Islamic Sharia-based bank monitoring and supervision, Sharia finance mediation, and environmental issues. [145] In July 2005 it issued a number of fatwas against pluralism, secularism, liberalism, interfaith prayer, interfaith marriage, and all alternative interpretations of religious texts. [146] President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gave the MUI implicit endorsement by opening the 2005 MUI congress, suggesting that his administration would work closely with it.[147]

Its fatwas are sometimes used as a basis for changes of law or policy in Indonesia. The Ministry of Religious Affairs works very closely with the MUI. When suggesting the ban of Ahmadiyah, Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, himself an MUI advisory board member, referred to an MUI fatwa in declaring Ahmadiyah heretical. [148] At the same time, the MUI has also pressured the government to ban the Ahmadiyah outright, saying that a fatwa is not sufficient. [149]

In July 2005, the MUI reissued a 1980 fatwa against the Ahmadiyah, declaring it to be a deviant sect, heretical, and dangerous. The July 2005 fatwa said that the government was obliged to prohibit the spread of Ahmadiyah teaching, ban the organization, and close all of its buildings. [150]

Amidhan, a MUI deputy chairman and a retired Ministry of Religious Affairs official, insisted that the MUI “rejects the use of violence” and “supports pluralism”:

If pluralism looks like all religions are the same then it is not good. MUI respects religious freedom. The meaning of pluralism in MUI is that all religions are not as good as others…. We don't compromise our religion. If someone insults our religion then violence emerges.[151]

Local MUIs have pushed for national fatwas by issuing their own at the provincial or regency level. For instance, in September 2007, the MUI in West Sumatra issued a fatwa against the Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah sect. Their local fatwa eventually reach the national MUI, which ended with the ban on Al Qiyadah in 2007. [152] On January 2, 2012, the local MUI office in Sampang regency issued an anti-Shia fatwa. [153] The provincial East Java MUI followed it on January 21, 2012, asking the national MUI to declare the Shia religion heretical and recommending that the Indonesian government act against the spread of Shia teachings. [154]

The MUI has also issued fatwas against most of those who end up being prosecuted under the blasphemy law.[155] MUI clerics issue fatwas first and later contact the police via the Bakor Pakem channel. These various fatwas precede the blasphemy prosecutions and are quoted as evidence in blasphemy trials.

Some MUI offices, especially in Muslim-majority areas, also have opposed Christians opening new churches. In Bekasi regency, MUI chairman Sulaiman Zachawerus reportedly warned his Muslim audience about Bekasi being “the target of Christianization.” [156] Zachawerus was involved in preventing HKBP Filadelfia (Batak Protestant Christian Church or Huria Kristen Batak Protestan), a Batak Christian congregation in Bekasi, from building their church despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering the Bekasi regent to issue a building permit. [157]

The national MUI also opposed the construction of GKI Yasmin (an Indonesian Christian Church in the Jasmine Garden housing complex, or Gereja Kristen Indonesia Taman Yasmin) in Bogor, a Jakarta suburb, even though the Supreme Court had ordered the Bogor government to reopen the church. The national MUI has supported the Bogor mayor in defying the Supreme Court decision. [158]

Religious Harmony Forum

The 2006 decree on houses of worship states that government leaders in all provinces, cities, and regencies should establish Religious Harmony Forums (Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, FKUB). Comprised of local religious leaders, these “consultative forums” advise the governor, the mayor, or the regent on the construction of houses of worship.

Governors, regents, and mayors decide who will be FKUB members and up to 21 members may sit in the forum. [159] Members of minority religions such as Christian, Hindus, and Buddhists are guaranteed at least one representative on these forums pursuant to a 2006 decree. [160] However, the FKUB have compounded the social and political marginalization of Shia and Ahmadiyah groups by regularly failing to include any of their representatives. [161] The Ministry of Religious Affairs coordinates the FKUB offices via its Center of Religious Harmony. [162]

In West Java, both the FKUB and Ministry of Religious Affairs have made it difficult for minorities to build their houses of worship. In Bekasi regency, for instance, the 17-member FKUB has 12 Muslims, 2 Christians, 1 Hindu, 1 Buddhist, and 1 Confucian.[163] The presence of more conservative Muslim members has played a role in preventing HKBP Filadelfia, a Batak church, from obtaining an FKUB recommendation to build their church.[164]

On February 12, 2012, the FKUB in Bekasi city played an active part in the closure of three churches in a single day: the Indonesian Church of Christ Loving (Gereja Kristus Rahmani Indonesia, GKRI), HKBP Kaliabang, and the Pentecost Church.[165] In Parung, Bogor regency, the FKUB has refused to issue a recommendation to authorize a Catholic church to be built despite it meeting the criteria of the 2006 decree.[166]

In Manado, North Sulawesi, a Christian-dominated area, Ulyas Taha, the deputy secretary of FKUB and himself a Muslim, said it was working without any serious problems. It was established in 2009 and has since received 10 applications to build six new churches and four new mosques. “We passed them all. … [I]n some cases, we asked them to complete the application requests. But all those 10 are recommended.”[167]

In Central Java, Aloys Budi Purnomo, a Catholic priest who heads the Commission for Inter-Religious Affairs of the Diocese of Semarang and advises Catholics in FKUB offices, said that on average two Catholics sit in each FKUB office in most of Central Java’s urban centers such as Semarang, Kendal, Pati, Kudus, Solo, Boyolali, Wonogiri, and Salatiga. “It’s good that Catholics now have representatives involved in deciding on the construction of houses of worship,” he said, noting that problems only arise when FKUB members have to vote on an issue: “The minorities obviously lose the voting.”[168]

Andreas Yewangoe, the chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, praised FKUBs in Central Java, “They’re really trying to promote religious tolerance.”[169]

In Christian-dominated Kupang, Timor, the FKUB has defended a plan to build a mosque in the Batuplat neighborhood, arguing that it has met all the criteria despite opposition from Christian groups. “The mosque construction should go ahead. There’s no reason to stop it,” said Kupang FKUB chairman Hendrik Malelak.[170]

Most FKUBs do not have paid staff. Their staff are provided either by the local government or by the local Ministry of Religious Affairs. FKUB members receive an honorarium from the government. The payment sometimes attracts clerics to compete for FKUB membership.

[62]Human Rights Committee, General Comment 22, Article 18 (Forty-eighth session, 1993), U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4 (1993), reprinted in Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations Adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, U.N. Doc. HRI/GEN/1/Rev.6 at 155 (2003), para. 2.

[63]Ibid., para. 9.

[64]“Indonesia: ‘Restrictive bill threatens freedoms of association, expression and religion,’ warn UN rights experts,” Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, February 14, 2013, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12989&LangID=E (accessed February 14, 2013). “The Bill on Mass Organizations imposes the requirement on the founding of associations not to be in contradiction with Pancasila - the official State philosophy in Indonesia that consecrates the belief ‘in the One and Only God’. It also stipulates that organizations have the duty to maintain religious values.”

[65] Ibid.

[66] See “The 2004 Autonomy Law article 10 (3)” http://www.kpu.go.id/dmdocuments/UU_32_2004_Pemerintahan%20Daerah.pdf  (accessed February 2, 2013).

[67] Certified translation of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/indonesia/laws/uud1945_en (accessed December 28, 2011)

[68] The People’s Consultative Assembly, The Second Amendment of the Indonesian Constitution, passed on August 18, 2000 and signed by MPR Speaker Amien Rais and seven MPR deputies: Ginandjar Kartasasmita; Sutjipto; Matori Abdul Djalil; Husnie Thamrin; Hari Sabarno; Jusuf Amir Feisal; Nazri Adlani.

[69] See Musdah Mulia, “The Problem of Implementation of the Rights of Religious Freedom In Indonesia,” paper submitted to the EU-Indonesia Conference, “Human Rights and Faith in Focus,” held by European Union and Nahdlatul Ulama in Jakarta, October 24-25, 2011. Musdah Mulia is the director of the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace.

[70] See Suryadharma Ali, Paper presented at the Work Meeting Minister of Religious Affairs with Commission VIII House of Representatives, Jakarta, February 9, 2011.

[71] “Penetapan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 1/Pnps Tahun 1965 tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan dan/atau Penodaan Agama” signed by President Sukarno in Lembaran Negara Republik Indonesia Tahun 1965 Nomor 3. Human Rights Watch unofficial translation of Criminal Code article 156a.

[72] Constitutional Court, “Decision No. 140/PUU-VII/2009,” http://www.mahkamahkonstitusi.go.id/putusan/putusan_sidang_Putusan%20PUU%20140_Senin%2019%20April%202010.pdf (accessed June 19, 2012).

[73] Duncan Graham, “Yusman Roy: Fighting To Pray In Peace,” The Jakarta Post, November 22, 2006.

[74] “Court Ruling a Setback for Religious Freedom: Blasphemy Law Puts Religious Minorities at Risk,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 10, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/04/19/indonesia-court-ruling-setback-religious-freedom (accessed December 29, 2011).

[75] “Two former Al-Qiyadah activists get three years for blasphemy,” The Jakarta Post, May 3, 2008, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/05/03/two-former-alqiyadah-activists-get-three-years-blasphemy.html (accessed June 29, 2012).

[76] “Violence at blasphemy trial in Central Java,” The Jakarta Post, Feb. 8, 2011, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/02/08/violence-blasphemy-trial-central-java.html (accessed January 3, 2012)

[77] “Prison for ‘Minang atheist’”, The Jakarta Post, June 15, 2012, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/06/15/prison-minang-atheist.html (accessed February 15, 2012); “Atheist civil servant arrested for blasphemy,” The Jakarta Post, January 20, 2012, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/01/20/atheist-civil-servant-arrested-blasphemy.html (accessed February 15, 2012).

[78] “Spiritual Group Leader Gets 4 Years In Jail for Blasphemy, Plans Appeal,” Jakarta Globe, March 14, 2012, http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/spiritual-group-leader-gets-4-years-in-jail-for-blasphemy-plans-appeal/504573 (accessed June 19, 2012).

[79] “Shia Cleric Convicted of Blasphemy,” Human Rights Watch news release, July 12, 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/12/indonesia-shia-cleric-convicted-blasphemy (accessed July 19, 2012). “Sampang court rejects Shiite cleric’s objection,” The Jakarta Post, May 23, 2012, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/05/23/sampang-court-rejects-shiite-cleric-s-objection.html (accessed June 29, 2012).

[80] “Keadilan di Angan-angan,” Kelompok Kerja Advokasi Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan, Press Release, January 21, 2013. Copy on file at Human Rights Watch.

[81] “Hukuman Penghina Agama di Facebook Diperberat,” Tempo, January 23, 2013, http://www.tempo.co/read/news/2013/01/23/058456441/Hukuman-Penghina-Agama-di-Facebook-Diperberat (accessed January 25, 2013)

[82] The petitioners included seven Indonesian human rights NGOs: Imparsial, Elsam, Indonesian Legal Aid Association, Demos, Setara Institute, Desantara Foundation, and the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation; as well as four Muslim intellectuals: Abdurrahman Wahid, Musdah Mulia, Dawam Rahardjo, and Maman Imanul Haq. See “Constitutional Court website, Decision No. 140/PUU-VII/2009,” http://www.mahkamahkonstitusi.go.id/putusan/putusan_sidang_Putusan%20PUU%20140_Senin%2019%20April%202010.pdf (accessed June 19, 2012).

[83] Ibid.

[84] Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho, who opposed the blasphemy law, told Kompas newspaper that Islamists stopped his car and rocked it in an attempt to intimidate him. See “Garin Hadir di Sidang MK, Mobilnya Dirusak?” Kompas, March 24, 2010 http://entertainment.kompas.com/read/2010/03/24/14115546/Garin.Hadir.di.Sidang.MK.Mobilnya.Dirusak. (accessed June 19, 2012).

[85] Constitutional Court website, “Decision No. 140/PUU-VII/2009,” http://www.mahkamahkonstitusi.go.id/putusan/putusan_sidang_Putusan%20PUU%20140_Senin%2019%20April%202010.pdf (accessed June 19, 2012).

[86] “Court Ruling a Setback for Religious Freedom: Blasphemy Law Puts Religious Minorities at Risk,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 10, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/04/19/indonesia-court-ruling-setback-religious-freedom (accessed December 29, 2011).

[87] Some Muslims have published extensively about fears of “Christianization” in Indonesia. For instance, a video called “Save Maryam,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E9NcbVa4FU&fb_source=message, uploaded in July 2012, contends that “two million Muslims leave Islam every year” in Indonesia to become Christians, though no basis is provided for this claim.

[88]  Internally, Suharto’s Education and Culture Minister Daoed Joesoef, himself a devout Muslim, protested the 1969 decree. In his 2006 memoir Joesoef wrote of his conversation with Suharto about the decree. He said he told Suharto that the decree is not going to create “religious harmony.” He argued it would be made “a legal platform for sectarian extremists” to repress minorities in Indonesia and would create inequality among Indonesian citizens. Joesoef asked Suharto to cancel the decree. Suharto, however, did not respond to Joesoef’s suggestion. In his memoir, Joesoef regretted that Christian bureaucrats and politicians did not speak up against the decree. See Daoed Joesoef, Dia Dan Aku: Memoar Pencari Kebenaran (Jakarta: Kompas, 2006), pp. 743-47.

[89] Surat Keputusan Bersama, “No. 1/Ber/MDN-MAG/1969,” signed on September 13, 1969 by Home Affairs Minister Amir Machmud and Minister of Religious Affairs Mohammad Dahlan.

[90] Weinata Sairin, “SKB 1969 Diskriminatif dan Kontraproduktif, Sinar Harapan, November 27, 2004, http://kliping.kemenag.go.id/downloads/c1236345bd87f0ff00e0aeffd6c2e238.pdf (accessed December 29, 2011).

[91] Human Rights Watch interview with Reverend Elson Lingga of a Pakpak Dairi Protestant Christian Church, Singkil, Jakarta, June 7, 2012. Lingga provided Human Rights Watch with the 1979 documents. The Singkil government also prevents the churches from renovating their buildings.

[92] Ismatu Ropi, “Regulating worship,” Inside Indonesia, Jan. 8, 2007, http://www.insideindonesia.org/edition-89-jan-mar-2007/regulating-worship-1407013 (accessed December 31, 2011).

[93] Human Rights Watch interviewed and reviewed documents on four HKBP churches in Bekasi –HKBP Getsemane, Jati Mulya area (Bekasi regency); HKBP Pondok Timur Indah, Ciketing area (Bekasi city); HKBP Kaliabang, (Bekasi city); HKBP Filadelfia, (Bekasi regency)—as well as GKI Yasmin church, Bogor. They all had difficulties organizing Sunday services in their private residences. Government officials, who frequently stopped the services, cited the prohibition on the use of “private homes” for religious activities.

[94] Human Rights Watch interview with Andreas Yewangoe, chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Jakarta, June 20, 2012.

[95] Ma'ruf Amin’s draft recommended that applicant congregations have at least 100 members and that they obtain the signatures of at least 70 neighbors. See “Draf Surat Keputusan Rumah Ibadah Sudah Kelar,” Tempo, February 9, 2006, http://www.tempo.co.id/hg/nasional/2006/02/09/brk,20060209-73694,id.html (accessed January 3, 2012).

[96] Joint Regulation of the Minister of Religious Affairs and Minister of Home Affairs No. 8 and No. 9/2006, “Guidelines for Regional Heads and Deputies in Maintaining Religious Harmony, Empowering Religious Harmony Forums, and Constructing Houses of Worship,” March 21, 2006, http://hukum.unsrat.ac.id/men/menag_mendagri_2006.pdf (accessed June 20, 2012).

[97] Ibid. art. 13.

[98] Ibid. art. 14.

[99] Ibid. art. 14.

[100] Ibid. art. 16.

[101] Ibid. art. 18.

[102] Ibid. art. 10. A provincial FKUB could have maximal 21 members. A city or a regency could have maximal 17 members.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with Andreas Yewangoe, chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Jakarta, June 20, 2012.

[104] Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace, “Inilah Hasil Pertemuan ICRP dengan Mahkamah Konstitusi Terkait Kasus Blitar,” January 29, 2013, http://icrp-online.org/012013/post-2804.html  (accessed February 2, 2013).

[105] “MUI fatwa No. 11/Munas VII/MUI/15/2005” signed on July 29, 2005 by fatwa commission members Ma’ruf Amin (chairman) and Hasanudin (secretary) as well as by plenary conference members Umar Shihab (chairman) and Din Syamsuddin (secretary).

[106] More than 200 peopleincluding many Muslim scholars, Catholic priests, Protestant preachers, Confucian scholars, Buddhists, Hindus, poets, writers, and human rights campaignerssigned a petition on May 10, 2008, saying the government should protect the Ahmadiyah, not ban the religion. See International Crisis Group, “Indonesia: Implications of the Ahmadiyah Decree,” July 7, 2008, http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/b78_indonesia___implications_of_the_ahmadiyah_decree.pdf (accessed January 2, 2012).

[107] Antara, “Wantimpres Upayakan Cegah Keluarnya SKB Penghentian Ahmadiyah,” April 22, 2008, http://www.antaranews.com/view/?i=1208864066&c=NAS&s= (accessed June 22, 2012). Adnan Buyung Nasution later wrote a book, Adnan Buyung Nasution, “Nasehat Untuk SBY,” (Jakarta: Kompas, 2012), on his work as a presidential advisor.

[108] Andreas Harsono, “Ahmadiyah, Rechtstaat dan Hak Asasi Manusia,” post to “Andreas Harsono” (blog), February 18, 2010 http://www.andreasharsono.net/2010/02/ahmadiyah-rechtstaat-dan-hak-asasi_18.html (accessed June 22, 2012).

[109] “Indonesia: Reverse Ban on Ahmadiyah Sect,” Human Rights Watch news release June 11, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/06/09/indonesia-reverse-ban-ahmadiyah-sect (accessed December 3, 2011).

[110] Indosiar, “Insiden Monas: Habib dan Munarman Divonis 1, 5 Tahun,” Oct. 30, 2008, http://www.indosiar.com/fokus/habib-dan-munarman-divonis-15-tahun_76525.html (accessed March 3, 2012).

[111] “Indonesia: Reverse Ban on Ahmadiyah Sect,” Human Rights Watch news release, June 10, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/06/09/indonesia-reverse-ban-ahmadiyah-sect (accessed January 2, 2011).

[112] Human Rights Working Group et. al., “List of Regulation that Prohibit Ahmadiyya Congregation Activity until 2011,” in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia in Geneva on May 23, 2012. The report was jointly written by Human Rights Working Group, Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, Setara Institute, Indonesia Legal Resource Center, Wahid Institute, and the Center for Marginalized Communities Studies.

[113] “Indonesia: Revoke Provincial Decrees to Ban a Faith,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 15, 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/15/indonesia-revoke-provincial-decrees-ban-faith (accessed June 22, 2012).

[114] West Sumatra Governor regulation No. 17/2011 signed by Irwan Prayitno on March 24, 2011.

[115] “Buyung Minta Presiden Tegur Daerah yang Larang Ahmadiyah,” Tempo, March 8, 2011, http://www.tempo.co/read/news/2011/03/08/173318526/Buyung-Minta-Presiden-Tegur-Daerah-yang-Larang-Ahmadiyah (accessed June 22, 2012).

[116] Suara Islam, “Gamawan Fauzi: SK Pelarangan Aktivitas Ahmadiyah Tidak Menyimpang,” March 8, 2011, http://www.suara-islam.com/news/berita/nasional/2104-gamawan-fauzi-sk-pelarangan-aktivitas-ahmadiyah-tidak-menyimpang (accessed June 22, 2012).

[117] Ministry of Religious Affairs, The Policy of the Government on the Issue of Ahmadiyaa in Indonesia, (Jakarta: 2011.) The 44-page booklet contains the 2008 decree and a joint circular on the implementation of the decree. Prof. Atho Mudzhar, the head of the Office of Research, Development and Training at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, wrote the preface.

[118] Setara Insitute, “Reports on Freedom of Religion and Belief 2007-2011,” http://www.setara-institute.org/en/category/galleries/indicators (accessed July 19, 2012). See also “Indonesia: Revoke Decree Against Religious Minority,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 7, 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/02/07/indonesia-revoke-decree-against-religious-minority (accessed January 2, 2012).

[119] Ulma Haryanto and Anita Rachman, “Debate Over Indonesian Religion Bill Heats Up,” Jakarta Globe, October 24, 2011, http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/debate-over-indonesian-religion-bill-heats-up/473591 (accessed March 3, 2012).

[120] Rumadi Ahmad of the Wahid Institute said the focus on “religious harmony” is a threat to religious minorities. “It would be better if the government were to propose a bill on religious freedom,” (A statement at in a Wahid Institute press conference, in Jakarta, December 29, 2011). Nathan Setiabudi, who chaired the Communion of Churches in Indonesia in 2000-2005, said that by emphasizing “religious harmony” the bill would provide a pretext for law enforcement agencies to pressure religious minorities to stop religious practices that might infuriate the majority (Human Rights Watch interview with Nathan Setiabudi, Jakarta, June 22, 2012).

[121] In 1978, Deliar Noer, a Muslim scholar, argued that Christians do not feel any need for such a ministry because they have their own organizations, e.g., the Communion of Churches in Indonesia and the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (Konferensi Waligereja Indonesia, KWI). “Protestants and Catholics in Indonesia have received substantial support from abroad and foreign missions also have direct access to Indonesian territories. … Only the Muslims felt the need for such a ministry,” he wrote. See Deliar Noer, Administration of Islam in Indonesia (Jakarta: Equinox, 2010) p. 23.

[122]  During President Suharto’s rule, the Ministry of Religious Affairs was at times headed by respected scholars including Mukti Ali (1973-1978), Munawir Sjadzali (1988-1993), and Quraish Shihab (1998). They did not produce discriminatory regulations and focused on conducting research on religious life in Indonesia. Many of these scholars have left the ministry over the last decade. In 2002, Komaruddin Hidayat of the Jakarta Islamic University wrote that the Ministry of Religious Affairs should be changed from a “sectarian institution,” which favors Muslims, to an institution that treats all faiths equally. Djohan Effendi, who used to head the research division at the ministry, said. “The ministry has become a state within a state. It pretends to be able to deal with many things but it has miserably failed.” See Luthfi Assyaukanie, Ideologi Islam Dan Utopia: Tiga Model Negara Demokrasi Di Indonesia (Jakarta: Freedom Institute, 2011).

[123]  The Ministry of Religious Affairs website details the ministry structure and directorates: Ministry of Religious Affairs, Website. http://kemenag.go.id/ (accessed March 3, 2012).

[124] “Ini 7 Kementerian dan Lembaga dengan Alokasi Anggaran Terbesar,” Metro TV, August 16, 2011, http://metrotvnews.com/read/newsvideo/2011/08/16/134207/Ini-7-Kementerian-dan-Lembaga-dengan-Alokasi-Anggaran-Terbesar (accessed June 23, 2012).

[125] Ministry of Religious Affairs, Kemenag dalam Angka, 2011, http://kemenag.go.id/file/dokumen/KEMENAGDALAMANGKAupload.pdf (accessed March 3, 2012).

[126] Presiden Republik Indonesia, “Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu II,” http://www.presidenri.go.id/index.php/statik/kabinet.html  (accessed January 25, 2013).

[127] “KPK probes graft in Koran procurement,” The Jakarta Post, June 21, 2012, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/06/21/kpk-probes-graft-koran-procurement.html (accessed June 22, 2012).

[128]  East Java Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, “Silaturahim Ulama dan Umara Menyikapi Masalah Syiah,” April, 2012, http://jatim.kemenag.go.id/file/file/mimbar307/pyca1336000319.pdf (accessed January 25, 2013).

[129] “Suryadharma Ali: Ahmadiyah Lebih Baik Dibubarkan, Daripada Dibiarkan,” Republika,  March 19, 2011, http://www.republika.co.id/berita/breaking-news/nasional/11/03/19/170812-suryadharma-ali-ahmadiyah-lebih-baik-dibubarkan-daripada-dibiarkan (accessed July 20, 2012).

[130] “Menag Tegaskan Syiah Bertentangan dengan Islam,” Media Indonesia, January 25, 2012, http://www.mediaindonesia.com/read/2012/01/25/293947/293/14/Menag-Tegaskan-Syiah-Bertentangan-dengan-Islam (accessed January 26, 2012).

[131]  An October 26, 2009 statement was signed by Shia cleric Tajul Muluk with signing “witnesses” includes the Sampang office of the Minister of Religious Affairs.

[132] Syiah Sampang, “Muslim Syiah Sampang Dipulangkan Paksa,” Youtube video about the January 13, 2012 eviction, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=519BvWqwI1A (accessed Jan. 25, 2012).

[133] Human Rights Watch interview with Alexander An, Sijunjung prison, April 9, 2012.

[134]  Attorney General Office, Annual Report 2011: Public Prosecution Service of the Republic of Indonesia, January, 2012.

[135] Uli Parulian Sihombing, Menggugat Bakor Pakem: kajian hukum terhadap pengawasan agama dan kepercayaan di Indonesia (Jakarta: Indonesian Legal Resource Center) 2008.

[136] Ibid. p. iii.

[137] “Report of the Meeting of Bakor Pakem in Sampang Regency on January 4, 2012” signed by Sampang chief prosecutor Danang Purwoko Adji Susesno.

[138] Human Rights Watch interview with Achmad Suprijatna, the police spokesman, Cianjur, April 15, 2012.

[139] Human Rights Watch interview with Ibrahim Khalil, a prosecutor of Alexander An, Sijunjung, April 9, 2012. Khalil is also the chief intelligence of the Dharmasraya prosecutor office in Pulau Punjung, the capital of Dharmasraya regency. He also heads the Bakor Pakem office.

[140] Human Rights Watch interview with Asfinawati Ajub, Jakarta, January 29, 2013.

[141] MUI has a sprawling network that makes it difficult to know its actual financial situation. It differs from one province to another, and from one regency to another. In an interview, Abdussomad Bukhori, the chairman of East Java MUI, said that MUI leaders only receive an “honorarium” and they expect no pay. See Hidayatullah, “Jadi Ketum MUI Karena Panggilan Nurani,” April 21, 2011 http://hidayatullah.com/read/16539/21/04/2011/jadi-ketum-mui-karena-panggilan-nurani.html  (accessed June 22, 2012). Syibli E. Sarjaya, the secretary of the Banten MUI, said that without government funding it might not operate properly. See Okezone, “KH Syibli: Tanpa Hibah, MUI Berjalan Terseok-seok,” September 22, 2011, http://news.okezone.com/read/2011/09/22/337/505983/kh-syibli-tanpa-hibah-mui-berjalan-terseok-seok (accessed June 23, 2012). In Siak regency, Riau province, the government helps each district with IDR 5 million (around US$600) to help pay preachers during the Ramadan fasting month. See Hallo Riau, “Bantuan MUI, Setiap Kecamatan Rp5 Juta,” July 26, 2011, http://www.halloriau.com/read-otonomi-12833-2011-07-26-bantuan-mui-setiap-kecamatan-rp5-juta-.html (accessed June 23, 2012).

[142] There are four cabinet members on the MUI board: Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali (also the chairman of the United Development Party); Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa (also the chairman of the National Mandate Party and an in-law to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono); Minister for National Education Muhammad Nuh; and Minister for Social Affairs Salim Segaf al-Jufri. Indonesia’s best-selling novelist Andrea Hirata also sits on the MUI’s Islamic art and culture commission along with movie star Yenny Rahman, comedian Cici Tegal, and model Ratih Sanggarwati. See MUI, “Susunan Pengurus MUI Pusat,” website. May 8, 2009, http://www.mui.or.id/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=54 (accessed June 23, 2012).

[143] Serba Sejarah, “Peran Ulama Djawa Barat dalam Operasi Pagar Betis,” post to “Serba Sejarah” (blog), June 11, 2010, http://serbasejarah.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/peran-ulama-djawa-barat-dalam-operasi-pagar-betis/ (accessed Dec. 27, 2011); Pondok Pesantren Al-Jawami, “Mama Sudja'I,” post to untitled blog, March 27, 2009, http://ponpes-sindangsari-aljawami.blogspot.com/2009/03/mama-sudjai.html (accessed December 27, 2011).

[144] Deliar Noer, Administration of Islam in Indonesia (Jakarta: Equinox, 2010) p. 81-90.

[145] MUI, “Lembaga-lembaga MUI,” website.http://www.mui.or.id/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=80 (accessed June 23, 2012).

[146]  Jeremy Menchik, “Illiberal but not intolerant: Understanding the Indonesian Council of Ulamas,” Inside Indonesia, November 26, 2007.

[147] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Presidential Speech when Opening the MUI National Congress, July 26, 2005, http://www.presidenri.go.id/index.php/pidato/2005/07/26/370.html (accessed January 25, 2013).

[148]  “Suryadharma Ali: Ahmadiyah Lebih Baik Dibubarkan, Daripada Dibiarkan,” Republika, March 19, 2011, http://www.republika.co.id/berita/breaking-news/nasional/11/03/19/170812-suryadharma-ali-ahmadiyah-lebih-baik-dibubarkan-daripada-dibiarkan (accessed June 23, 2012).

[149] MUI, “Diperlukan Peraturan Daerah (Perda), Fatwa MUI Tak Cukup Tangani Masalah Ahmadiyah,” website. February 28, 2011, http://www.mui.or.id/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=416:diperlukan-peraturan-daerah-perda-fatwa-mui-tak-cukup-tangani-masalah-ahmadiyah&catid=1:berita-singkat&Itemid=50 (accessed June 23, 2012).

[150] MUI fatwa No. 11/Munas VII/MUI/15/2005 signed on July 29, 2005 by MUI’s fatwa commission members Ma’ruf Amin (chairman) and Hasanudin (secretary) as well as by plenary conference members Umar Shihab (chairman) and Din Syamsuddin (secretary).

[151] Human Rights Watch interview with Amidhan of the Indonesian Ulema Council, Jakarta, September 17, 2011.

[152] Uli Parulian Sihombing, Menggugat Bakor Pakem: kajian hukum terhadap pengawasan agama dan kepercayaan di Indonesia (Jakarta: Indonesian Legal Resource Center, 2008), pp. 37-38.

[153] “MUI Sampang Keluarkan Fatwa Sesat Syiah yang Dibawa Tajul Muluk,” Hidayatullah, January 3, 2012, http://www.hidayatullah.com/read/20493/03/01/2012/mui-sampang-keluarkan-fatwa-sesat-syiah-yang-dibawa-tajul-muluk.html (accessed June 23, 2012).

[154] MUI East Java, “Fatwa No. Kep-01/SKF-MUI/JTM/I/2012,” signed on January 21, 2012 by chairman KH. Abdusshomad Buchori and secretary Imam Tabroni.

[155] They included: Yusman Roy, a Muslim preacher reciting a Muslim prayer in Indonesian Malay; Lia Eden, M. Abdul Rachman, and Wahyu Andito Putro Wibisono, three leaders of a spiritual group named the “Eden Community” in Jakarta, who declared that Lia Eden had received revelations from the Angel Gabriel; Andreas Guntur, the leader of the spiritual group Amanat Keagungan Ilahi, for drawing upon certain verses of the Quran but not abiding to other conventional Islamic teachings; Dedi Priadi and Gerry Lufthy Yudistira, father and son, for joining the Al-Qiyadah sufi sect in Padang court, West Sumatra; and Tajul Muluk, a Shia cleric in Sampang, Madura island.

[156] Dakta, “Semalam Bersama Dewan Dakwah, Bekasi Jadi Sasaran Pemurtadan,” December 26, 2011, http://www.dakta.com/berita/lintas-megapolitan/17572/semalam-bersama-dewan-dakwah-bekasi-jadi-sasaran-pemurtadan.html/ (accessed June 21, 2012).

[157] Bekasi Raya, “FKUB: Bupati Bekasi Dilema Cabut Izin Gereja Filadelfia,” June 3, 2012, http://bekasiraya.com/berita-730-fkub--bupati-bekasi-dilema-cabut-izin-gereja-filadelfia.html (accessed June 23, 2012).

[158] “Walikota Bogor: Saya Terima 3 Karung Surat,” Vivanews, November 15, 2012, http://metro.vivanews.com/news/read/264289-walikota-bogor--saya-terima-3-karung-surat (accessed June 25, 2012).

[159] Article 10 states that the FKUB could have a maximum of 17 individuals in a regency/mayoralty and a maximum of 21 individuals in a province.

[160] The 2006 Art.10 (2).

[161] During the search period, August 2011 until December 2012, Human Rights Watch made calls to members of 10 FKUB offices in North Sumatra, Riau, West Java, Jakarta, Central Java, and West Nusa Tenggara. None of them have either Ahmadiyah or Shia members.

[162] Pusat Kerukunan Umat Beragama website: http://pkub.kemenag.go.id/

[163] Human Rights Watch interview with Palti Panjaitan of HKBP Filadelfia, Bekasi, June 21, 2012.

[164] Human Rights Watch interview with Palti Panjaitan, HKBP Filadefia, Bekasi, Sept. 12, 2011.

[165] “Tiga Gereja di Bekasi Disegel,” Metro TV, February 11, 2012, http://metrotvnews.com/read/news/2012/02/11/81585/Tiga-Gereja-di-Bekasi-Disegel/6 (accessed March 3, 2012).

[166] Human Rights Watch group interview with Alexander A.M., Hendrikus M. Hena, and Alfonsus Sutarno of St. Parung-based Johannes Baptista congregation, Depok, southern Jakarta, September 12, 2011.

[167] Human Rights Watch phone interview with Ulyas Taha, Manado, June 25, 2012.

[168] Human Rights Watch phone interview with Aloys Budi Purnomo Pr., Semarang, June 25, 2012.

[169] Human Rights Watch interview with Andreas Yewangoe, chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Jakarta, June 20, 2012.

[170] Human Rights Watch interview with Rev. Hendrik Malelak, Kupang, January 15, 2012.