The decision of the Indonesian Court Constitution on the Judicial Review of UU No. 1/PNPS/1965 is about to be given this month. The review process is still hotly going on, and in March, the situation in the court was colored by the clash between pro and contra groups. During the review process, CRCS also took part by writing a position paper to the problematic law.
The position paper that had already been sent to the Court was written by CRCS team consists of Zainal Abidin Bagir, Suhadi Cholil, Mustaghfiroh Rahayu, Ali Amin, Endy Saputro and Budi Ashari. Several months ago, the team followed and criticized the review process.
The idea of writing the paper is the upshot of the CRCS Annual Reports on the Religious Life in Indonesia in 2008 and 2009.
In the two annual reports, the team discovered that some religious problems in Indonesia are related to the existence of the said Law. Some of the problems include the Ahmadiyah case, discrimination toward the believers of local beliefs which was related to the Law of the People Administration 2006, and also the increase of the tendency of the deviant cult discourse.
In the paper, CRCS emphasizes two important points which made the team conclude that UU No. 1/PNPS/1965 deserves to be revoked.
First, the team sees UU No. 1/PNPS/1965 dominating using Multiculturalism Perspective which says that the Law should not dominate the healthy religious life. Domination of Law would cause denial of dialogical consensus in the society. This is seen from the reaction of determining “defamation” and “abuse” of religion in the diversity.
Second, the Law is seen as unconstitutional. CRCS sees that the Law contradicts the UUD 1945, because there are some points which show the contradiction. For example, the diversity which is guaranteed by UU 1945 chapter 29 is clearly not considered in the UU No. 1/PNPS/1965. “There is no legal reason that debars the Law to be revoked, because it contradicts our constitution,” the paper emphasizes.
In addition, the regulation of the position between religion and state in the Law becomes unclear. A religion which has big authority will have a big role in determining standards of religious criminalities based on its tenets. Thus for CRCS, the Law has discrimination.
The two basically emphasize diversity as realm which cannot be reduced in this nation-state. The diversity is guaranteed by the consensus of UU 1945. The use of UU No. 1/PNPS/1965 exactly causes acknowledgment and guaranty to the diversity which becomes unclear. It is not only that, in handling some cases in the field, the Law is questioned with regard to its boundaries for actions either to be categorized as crime or not.
Principally, judicial review to the Law is very important. In the socialization of SKB 3 Menteri about Ahmadiyah case, the Indonesian government even recommended it. In the socialization, the government provided some alternatives if the Ahmadiyah adherents were not satisfied with the government’s decision through the SKB. One of the alternatives was that the adherents can ask judicial review of UU No. 1/PNPS/1965.
In an interview with Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, CRCS Director, he explained that the position paper of 17 pages is part of CRCS efforts in understanding and answering some sentiments of the people if this Law is revoked.
“If it is unconstitutional, just revoke it. If there are worries about that, we already have some Laws that regulate similar problems such as Law for incitement, provocation, hatred, many things. We may need to make new Law and to say provocation, hatred on religious name, if we need it, on religious ground, but with the requisite that it must be clear first what actions that can be judged as criminal offense and not. Do not mention about tenets of religion, because it can be bias,” Dr. Bagir said.
Furthermore, Dr. Bagir also said that CRCS will still usher the issue through dissemination in society and some events that will be held by CRCS in the future.
CRCS participation in the government policy can be seen as educational and its role in supporting Good Governance in Indonesia. Besides, the element of research and education that has to be done by Indonesian institutions of higher education, service or dedication to people is quite seen as CRCS advocacy to the diversity through this paper.
It is hoped that diversity will not become something horrible in this country and be limited by discriminative standards.
This post is also available in: Indonesian