We have seen instances in India where Government took biased steps to appease a specific section of society, sometime in the name of minority rights and sometimes in the name of protecting the sentiments of them. We thought such instances don’t happen in other countries but we got an eye opener in Indonesia.
Indonesia is known as World’s largest Muslim-majority nation. Other ethnic groups like Chinese, Christian, Buddhist or Confucian hardly make up less than 5 percent of the overall population. The recent anti-Chinese movement is driven in part by an increased influence of extremist Muslim ideology in the country’s politics.
Recently a 100-foot statue depicting a Chinese deity was covered with an enormous white sheet in East Java Province of Indonesia. Reason is quite strange, this status was hurting the sentiments of the Muslims and they threatened to tear the statue down amid mounting ethnic and religious tensions across the country.
This status is a depiction of third Century Chinese General Guan Yu, who is worshipped as a god in Chinese society, has been an issue for Majority of Muslims for quite a while.
The Islamist groups have been campaigning against the statue. Even on social media, Muslims assailed the statue as an “uncivilized” and “Un-Islamic” and against their sentiments. Recently a strong mob gathered outside the East Java legislature building in the city of Surabaya to demand its complete destruction. However the administration decided to cover it with a white tarp to diffuse the tension and growing demands of radical Islamists.
And to our shock, this is not the first such kind of incident in Indonesia. There were many statues deemed un-Islamic have been destroyed or vandalized around Indonesia in recent years, and several Chinese temples have been set on fire. Muslim extremists have pressed for the adoption of Islamic law, or Shariah, throughout Indonesia.
Some experts have expressed that there is a growing anti-china sentiments in Indonesia for last couple of years, and the reason is the growing perception within Muslim Indonesians that Beijing becomes more dominant in the region — exerting financial and military influence.
It is growing religious intolerance, making their own interpretation of the Quran and using that hostile interpretation against the Chinese temple. They say that it is showing that China is dominating Indonesia.
DidikMuadi, a Muslim Leader who organized the protests against the statue, threatened to destroy this status if thegovernment did not intervene.
He further said that “Actually, we can allow them to build the statue, just not as high as it was and it should be in the temple, not outside, we are tolerant.”