REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) responded to a statement by the Chairperson of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) Grace Natalie about a discourse to encourage revocation of the Joint Ministerial Regulation (SKB) on establishment of places of worship. Head of Religious Harmony Committee of MUI, KH Yusnar Yusuf said PSI should conduct a deeper analysis of the issue first so it would not backfire to the new party.
"She had to do an analysis from various variables on how the real condition of the nation, condition the grassroots, how religion emerged, and how the places of worship established, etc.," said Kiai Yusnar when contacted by Republika.co.id, on Tuesday (Feb 12).
Kiai Yusnar explained that, if the regulation on establishment of places of worship is revoked, conflict between religious communities at the grass-roots will be worsen. In addition, he assessed that the issue can also be harmful to the party in the 2019 General Election.
"So, my advice to her (Grace), just concentrate on her party. Don't make any plan which eventually may backfire on them," Kiai Yusnar said.
Previously, Grace said her party has three agendas to fight intolerance in the country. She said one of the agendas was to encourage revocation of Joint Ministerial Regulation (SKB) on the Establishment of Places of Worship.
"First, at the national level the PSI will encourage deregulation of rules on establishment of places of worship," Grace said through a written statement on Tuesday (Feb 12).
Grace said that prohibition, destruction or blocking establishment of places of worship should not happened in Indonesia. She said the closure was against the constitution which guarantees religious freedom.
Quoting National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Grace said that the regulation in practice can actually limit the principle of religious freedom. In fact, PSI considered the regulation often misused to limit and even revoke constitutional rights in terms of freedom of worship.
According to Grace, SETARA Institute has recorded 378 cases of disturbance against places of worship in Indonesia in the last 11 years. She said the condition worsened as local politician and government officials took side to certain religious community.
"There should be no more forced closure of places of worship. PSI will fight for that," she remarked.
The party believed that the campaign of tolerance must also be realized in the form of a parliamentary movement. One of them is to remove the regulation through a representative institution.