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Group says Pancasila way to halt assault on pluralism JAKARTA - Pro-democracy supporters and scholars are urging the upholding of the founding Pancasila state ideology to thwart hardline religious groups attempting to impose a monotheistic belief system. The group -- including socialist Rahman Toleng, lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, economist Faisal Basri and former education and culture minister Fuad Hassan -- noted that Pancasila was not an absolute doctrine but a compromise reached by the founding fathers who realized the pluralistic nature of the new nation.

They said the ideology recognized different faiths and beliefs, underlined respect for diversity and did not allow one group to become dominant. The ideology -- consisting of five principles -- was decided upon 61 years ago at the proclamation of independence. "We need Pancasila to remind us that humans are not eternity," journalist Goenawan Mohamad said at a symposium on restoring Pancasila at the University of Indonesia campus in Depok, south of Jakarta.

The authoritarian Soeharto regime forcefed the ideology -- consisting of principles of one God, democracy, unity, social justice for all and humanity -- to students to promote conformity and stifle dissent, which led to it falling out of favor with the public. However, Gunawan said it remained important during democratic times because it represented all of the country's diverse ethnic and religious interests. "Pancasila represents a horizon for the nation. We never reach it but we are always in the process of reaching it," he said.

The rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Azyumardi Azra, said there needed to be public discussion of the true meaning of the ideology. "Many people are anti-Pancasila because the New Order regime used it to indoctrinate the Indonesian people and to threaten them." He noted the recent disdain for Pancasila had been accompanied by the inefficacy of the state in maintaining law and order. "The social implication is that many people who want certainty from the law believe that sharia is a solution."

Islamic scholar Dawam Rahardjo said the core of the ideology was to not allow the majority to impose its views on minorities. "You can see that sectarian groups are now forcing their beliefs on others through bylaws and sharia. Pancasila does not take one side of one religion and does not allow the state to meddle with its people about their beliefs," he said. "But now, the state has violated its people's rights to hold their religion and beliefs."



Posted in General @ 01 June 2006 15:31 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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