Who Says There is Islamophobia in Indonesia? 

By Yasmi Adriansyah, PhD; a lecturer in  Universitas Al Azhar Indonesia

The title of this article is inspired by a statement from Profesor Mahfud MD, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia on a campus event in July 2022. 

However, is it true that there is no Islamophobia in Indonesia?

If it is not, then why is there a National Anti-Islamophobia Movement (Gerakan Nasional Anti Islamophobia (GNAI))?

The movement is a proof that Mahfud MD’s statement does not match reality. However, he thinks so because Presiden Joko “Jokowi” Widodo does not develop policies influencing Islam being hated or feared. Besides that, in his opinion, Jokowi never discriminates and also provides the same opportunities for muslims  in any field such as politics, economy, education, etc.

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When public protest anti-muslim being protected, Mahfud said it was not the government’s action so it was unfair if the public assumed the government as pro-Islamophobia.

The assumption was getting stronger when ulama being criminalized and Prophet Muhammad being insulted but the government did nothing, so can we consider Mahfud MD’s statement as the statement based on reality?

Islamophobia around the world and Indonesia

Before answering the question above, we have to know about Islamophobia around the world and Indonesia first.

The United Nation (UN) has decided March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia because anti-muslim haters are around the world and they must be combated.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has a special task force named Islamophobia Observatory and every year, it will issue a report contained the list of most countries received hatred against Islam in form of dicrimination, government’s policies which are pro-Islamophobia, verbal, and physical attacks against Muslims, and hate speech about Islam.

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Islamophobia is not only happen in western or non-muslim countries but also in a muslim countries, including Indonesia. 

According to Kyai Hasyim, Islamophobia in this country appears in various forms from time to time and it is a proof that Islamophobia may also happen in countries where the majority of its population are Muslims.

Logical Fallacy

After knowing the phenomenon, we can consider Mahfud MD’s statement to be inaccurate. Islamophobia happens everywhere, including muslim countries.

His statement about Jokowi does not develop policies influencing Islam being hated or feared is based on logical fallacy and does not match reality.

Moreover, Islamophobia is not only in form of  government’s policy but also discrimination and hate speech about Islam.

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Maybe it is hard to prove the government protects anti-muslim, but if it so difficult to imprison them, then it is also one of the proofs that our government protects them.

When the minister remains silent while Islam being dicriminated, it also part of its policy.

However, we believe deep inside Mahfud’s heart denies the government’s policy against Islamophobia in our country. We count on you!

Wallahu a’lam bisshowab. (T/ri/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)