The Right Choice?

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Indonesia is said to be coming up with some ridiculous ideas in terms of its law-making ventures. 

In states like Indonesia, where law is slightly more than just a joke, the legislative bodies have to find some kind of activity to justify their positions and salaries. So what we have now from these law-making bodies is a set of laws which seems to be aiming at bringing Islam into the equation of every move they make; law has to be sacred, after all. 

This again follows a pattern of nations that have seen utter failure in the field of law; when the nation’s collective psychology rejects law, it is cloaked in verses of holy scriptures. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are the first few that come to mind when talking of such lawless nations.

Indonesia has recently thought of introducing a “halal” refrigerator. One would think that such a fridge would be exclusively reserved for storing halal food, but that happens to not be the case; this fridge is being advertised to be sharia-compliant. How far will these so-called Muslim nations fall to invite mockery and shame to their faith?

This “halal” tag on the refrigerator might only have been a marketing stunt, but Indonesia is looking to introduce laws from October next year which would like to see most items, even service-providers, being sharia-compliant or even halal-certified. What items would be “baptised” under this law is not specified but speculations suggest that it is deemed to go beyond edible goods and take in its fold inedible goods – like refrigerators – and even professional services like consultancy and advice.

Such legislations of such countries do not deserve an editorial, but what makes us spill this ink on the editorial column is the reaction shown by the Western media. Otherwise esteemed journals, like The Economist, decided to pick up on this news-story and prove how thoughtless Indonesia has been in its law-making process. 

The Economist of 29 June found it extremely unreasonable that Indonesia prosecuted some cartoonists who had been mischievous enough to have made memes of Indonesian politicians; that the law in Indonesia punishes – under anti-pornography laws – someone who performs indecent acts in public; that Indonesia sees someone who harms the environment as a terrorist is seen unreasonable by the Western media; that plausibility of all such broad-brush rules could allow more protestors to take to the streets is rightly identified by the Human Rights Watch.

What surprises us is that the Indonesian government’s backing the persecution of hundreds of thousands of its Ahmadi citizens at the hands of the anti-Ahmadiyya circles has never caught the attention of these political analysts and social scientists who take themselves to be touchstones of morality, ethics and socio-political correctness. A refrigerator being branded as “halal” gets a whole page awarded to it in The Economist, but the brutal and inhumane treatment of a large number of innocent citizens – only for what they believe in – never seems to get to these great giants of publicity and propaganda.

The hand behind the persecution of Ahmadis in Indonesia – and the indifference of the government – is that of the extremist so-called Muslim ulema who have been imported into the country from Pakistan. This infectious, contiguous and malignant product (the extremist mullahs) is now spreading throughout the world and playing an instrumental role in the radicalisation of the youth, especially so in the West.

Rather than worry about halal refrigerators, the Western media would do better to identify the actual problems that arise from such countries and spread to all parts of the world. 

(For further information on persecution of Ahmadis, visit www.persecutionofahmadis.org)

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