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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 10/30/2008
INDONESIA
The Indonesian parliament adopts anti-pornography bill
by Mathias Hariyadi
MPs present voted unanimously for the bill. Opposition parties did not however participate in the vote. Dissent explodes in online forums. A Jakarta court sentences an Islamic fundamentalist leader to jail for fomenting clashes last June.

 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – With opposition MPs absent, Indonesia’s parliament approved an anti-porn bill that was welcomed by supporters who loudly rejoiced with prayers to Allah. In online newspaper forums many ordinary citizens reacted angrily however, slamming what they consider a step backward for Indonesia and an “obscurantist” decision.

Today the lower house in Indonesia’s parliament approved the controversial anti-pornography bill, known in Bahasa Indonesia as Undang-undang Pornografi, Uu App. Since it was tabled it has been at the centre of intense discussions because it is seen as a step towards introducing Sharia law into the country’s legal system along the lines of Saudi Arabia.

In recent weeks human rights activists and representatives of political and religious minorities, including the Catholic Church, have strenuously objected to the law.

According to its critics, the law eliminates “cultural” differences and undermines “national unity”. As it stands it is all but an attempt by Muslim fundamentalists to introduce Islamic law into the country’s legal system.

The anti-porn law was approved almost unanimously but MPs for the Indonesian Democracy Struggle Party (PDIP) and the Christian-based Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) were not in the house in protest against the bill.

A supporter of the new law named Lasmiantini, a member of a group called Salima or Muslim Sisters, felt great about it.

“Inshallah, God willing, Indonesia shall finally see the rebirth of morality,” she said.

“We are happy,” she added, “because we won the battle to defend our children and it [the law] will also protect women.”

“Educational TV programmes” will be promoted “to improve moral values as the basis of society.

Pro-law activists said that the legislation can be improved to “avoid excesses”, denying at the same time that negative views were expressed “against the bill in some provinces.”

Meuthia Hatta, daughter of Mohammad Hatta, one of Indonesia’s founding fathers, noted that the law “does not violate the principles of freedom of expression” but instead protects people from the harm done by pornography.

“Our focus was on this aspect rather than on political squabbles with nationalist groups and NGOs,” said the minister of for Woman Empowerment.

In the meantime a court in Jakarta issued an important ruling in the fight against Islamic fundamentalism.

Judge Panusunan Harahap sentenced Habib Rizieq Shihab, head of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), to 18 months in jail for “fomenting clashes in Jakarta last 1 June between radical Muslims and moderates, who were demonstrating in favour of religious freedom in the country.”

At that time Muslim fundamentalists attacked moderate Muslims from the National Alliance for Religious Freedom (AKKBB), who were peacefully demonstrating in support of the Ahmadis, a small Muslim community (about half a million) who are considered heretical in several Muslim countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.


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See also
06/04/2008 INDONESIA
More than 50 Islamic Defender Front extremists arrested
09/18/2008 INDONESIA
For Indonesian Church anti-pornography bill threatens national unity
by Mathias Hariyadi
09/17/2008 INDONESIA
Indonesia, sharia behind anti-pornography law
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/03/2008 INDONESIA
Young moderate Muslims declare war on extremists
by Benteng Reges
10/01/2007 INDONESIA
Islamic extremists attack bars and hotels for “violating the sanctity of Ramadan”

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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