The minister of communication and information technology criticized on Monday a proposal to classify TV shows as either halal or haram.
“There’s no such thing as a halal or haram TV program,” said Tifatul Sembiring. “TV programs should be assessed as to whether they have educational values or if they’re in line with the laws.”
Tifatul’s comments came after a branch of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) asked the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) to consider the possibility of a halal certification program for TV shows. The certification program would give a halal seal to “decent” TV shows that did not include themes or images violating Islamic norms.
KPI chairman Mochamad Riyanto said the broadcasting commission would carefully continue to discuss the proposal.
“We should be careful talking about this [proposal] because it’s related to the authorities of various institutions and we don’t want an overlap in jurisdiction to take place,” he said.
Riyanto said that during Ramadan, broadcast stations had committed many ethical violations by airing comedy shows with insulting content during the period when Indonesians break their fast or eat their last morning meal.
“We have issued a letter of reprimand to seven TV programs during the month of Ramadan,” KPI commissioner Nina Mutmainah said, adding that the TV shows had shown contempt against minority groups.
“We also found many violations of children’s right to protection,” she said.
She said the KPI had received 31 complaints from the public about TV shows during the first two weeks of Ramadan.