Muslims gather at the National Monument in Jakarta at an event organized by several conservative groups in this file photo. One of their demands was that Indonesia must only be led by a Muslim. (Photo: Konradus Epa/UCA News)
Indonesian rights and secular groups have urged the government to stem a growing tide of Islamization in the Muslim majority country that they say threatens to destroy democracy.
The groups included the Public Virtue Institute, a democracy study group, Rumah KitaB (Our House Together), a policy research institute, and Esoterika-Forum Spiritualitas, which seeks depth of thought and spirituality.
They claimed Islamization poses a serious and dangerous threat as it goes hand in hand with conservatism and intolerance.
By identity politics, he was referring to hardline Islamists forming exclusive socio-political alliances at the expense of broad-based, coalitional politics upon which democratic societies are based.
He said Indonesian rules on issuing building permits for places of worship, which puts minority groups at risk, were an example of government regulations perpetrating identity politics.
The rules require a list of names and signatures of 90 worshippers and signed support from at least 60 local residents and approval by a village head before a permit to build a house of worship is issued.
Minorities say these are unfair stipulations that hard-line groups exploit to prevent minorities from worshipping.
“It harms democracy, as the hardliners hide behind the majority, so the victims of identity politics choose to remain silent,” he told UCA News.