zaterdag 6 september 2014

Lukman Hakim Saifuddin

After the terrible period of SDA, Suryadharma Ali, now a fresh new minister gets a much better record. He is from a NU dynasty, because his father Saifuddin Zuhri was leader of a pesantren (and wrote a nice humorous book, a novel rather than a treatise) and the 9th minister of religion in Indonesia. But Lukman Hakim studied in Gontor, which is not really a NU based institution. From 2004-2014 he was a parliament member for PPP. He received positive reviews, but will he be acceptable for PKB as the next minister of religion?  Anyway he was a PPP partisan and that is different from PKB.
On 15 July, only one month after being appointed (on 9 June 2014), he invited Ahmadiyyah and Shi'a representatives for an infar  meal in his house, besides Sunda Wiwitan (a reconstruction of the original Sunda religious traditions) and Parmalim (Batak traditionalists). Since then he also has made a good name in blaming ISIS, the terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and proposing that Bahai should have some status as a religious community. This is complicated, because what is then the definition of religion?

Berkas:Lukman Hakim Saifudin.jpg 
Not everything is OK with his statements. A few days ago he celebrated 50 years of marriage law of 1974 and defended his position that mixed marriage should not be allowed in Indonesia, because religion must be dominant in the definition of marriage law. Besides, who should be dominant in a mixed family: the religion of father or mother? Well that sounds perhaps reasonable, but reality is different: there are mixed couples and they have to be accepted anyway: you cannot exclude or deny them.One Anbar Jayadi has made a case against the ban on mixed marriage with the MK Mahkamah Konstitusi, stating that the ban on mixed religious marriage is conflicting with the Indonesian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion.

                While completing the text for my talk in Nagoya and Tokyo, next month, there was an interesting message from Dr. Machasin, prominent advisor to the new Minister of Religion, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, who took the position after SDA, Suryadharma Ali has to leave the function on 27 May 2014 due to suspicion of corruption. This fresh new minister declared on 20 September 2014 that one of his duties should be to give more attention to those people who do not follow one of the six major religions. Examples given are Baha’i, Taoism, Kaharingan (local renewal of Dayak religion), Jewish religion. 

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