Seventy-Two Percent of Indonesian Muslims Favor Shariah Law: Pew Forum

A man prays outside a mosque in Banda Aceh December 5, 2012. Aceh is Indonesia's only province to have implemented sharia, or Islamic laws. (Reuters Photo/Damir Sagolj)

A man prays outside a mosque in Banda Aceh December 5, 2012. Aceh is Indonesia’s only province to have implemented Shariah, or Islamic laws. (Reuters Photo/Damir Sagolj)

Despite being touted as the Muslim world’s largest democracy, a new survey released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday revealed that 72 percent of Indonesia’s Muslim population would favor an Islamic legal code as the “official law of the land” if given the option.

The survey, which focused on 39 countries and interviewed 38,000 people, found that most followers of the world’s second-largest faith want their religion to shape not only their personal lives, but also their social and political interactions as well.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Indonesia is home to roughly 216 million Muslims, or 86.1 percent of the country’s population.

“Most Muslims believe Shariah [Islamic law based on the teachings of the Koran] is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God,” the report read.

The survey revealed, though, that most countries were selective in which aspects of Shariah they wanted to implement, and 44 percent of Indonesians said  that there were “multiple interpretations of Shariah.”

In Indonesia, half of those who wanted Shariah enforced in the archipelago said that it should be applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims, and only 18 percent held the belief that one should be put to death for leaving Islam.

The study also found that Muslims, especially in Indonesia, are generally more comfortable with applying Shariah to their family lives than in the public sphere.

For instance, 93 percent of Indonesian Muslim men and women surveyed expressed the view that a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. However, 81 percent stated that a woman should be able to decide for herself whether or not to wear a veil.

When asked if sons and daughters should receive the same inheritance rights, 76 percent of Indonesians championed equal shares for men and women.

Fewer than half of Indonesian Muslims (45 percent) polled who advocated for Shariah as the law of the land were in favor of dishing out punishments like amputations for thieves and robbers.

Ismail Hasani, a senior researcher at the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, was skeptical of the results of the Pew Forum’s survey.

He said that although the survey was conducted by a prestigious organization, he believed that it might not actually represent the true opinions of Indonesians.

By his count, Ismail predicted that if a domestic survey was taken, no more than half of Indonesians would advocate for the implementation of Shariah Law

“I believe that if people were asked directly, ‘Do you want Shariah Law to be imposed by the state?’ the amount who would say ‘yes’ would be less than 50 percent,” Ismail told the Jakarta Globe in a phone interview on Wednesday.

He added that Indonesians view Shariah Law and the country’s other laws in an equal light.

“Setara has noted that Indonesians are comfortable with the current situation, with Pancasila as the state’s ideology,” he said.

Ma’ruf Amin, the chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), welcomed the results of the survey.

The head of the body’s fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law), Ma’ruf commented that many aspects of Shariah have been implemented by the central government into the country’s general laws, such as the Hajj Law and various anti-pornography measures.

“Most of the country’s population are Muslims, so I think it represents the desires of most Indonesians to have more Shariah Law,” he told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.

Furthermore, he added that if Shariah is what the people want, the government should respond to their wishes. He argued that Shariah is not antithetical to Pancasila and would not disrupt Indonesia’s diversity.

“With the application of Islamic law, non-Muslims rights must not be reduced. They must have the same rights. Shariah Law includes general regulations that are beneficial to everybody, and the specialized rules outlined [in the Koran] would only be applied to Muslims,” he said.

Meanwhile, despite the archipelago’s seeming commitment to religion in all spheres of life, the Pew survey reported that 78 percent of Indonesian Muslims communicated a fear of religious extremist groups having a presence in their country, though only 19 percent of those surveyed said that strains between more and less devout Muslims are an issue for the country.

Though Muslims the world over are in agreement that theirs in the one true faith, Indonesians stray from the pack in their view of proselytizing others.

Sixty-five percent of Indonesian Muslims do not feel it is their religious obligation to convert others to Islam, though 31 percent think that they should make an effort to do so. Furthermore, only a third of Indonesian Muslims (36%) consider conflict between religious groups a serious national issue.

  • Roland

    “In Indonesia, half of those who wanted Shariah to enforced in the archipelago said that it should be applied to both Muslims AND NON-MUSLIMS(!!!!!!!!) …” – in other words, 36 percent of Indonesians, or more than one third would want to have Shariah law, which of course again is then having “multiple interpretations” (which of course is rather confusing as it is “the revealed word of God”, so there should be no space whatsoever for multiple interpretations).

    Ah, if this is not a scary one, than what is? And of course the MUI welcomed this survey with open arms and even mentioned “With the application of Islamic law, non-Muslims rights must not be reduced. They must have the same rights….” What he forgot to mention was that non-Muslims will certainly then also be obliged to bow to the same responsibilities which Shariah law dictates – with severe consequences if not!

    One almost wishes that a new dictatorship without religious dogmas replaces the farce of democracy which rules Indonesia since a decade or so…

    • 22roles

      That’s what i have been saying, the best option we have so far is SBY, or Tbetween TNI back in power and Syariah…i have no idea why you guys so much against the current president while he’s elected and voted by majority of people to maintain and preserve democracy the best possible way. crap for your arm chair consultants.

      • DrDez

        no 22 – he is a man very much driving an islamic agenda – he is to blame for the rise in radicalism that is destroying the nation by both complicity and inaction. He is to blame he is not the savior. He has failed to protect the rights of many, he fails to uphold the law, he bows to radical groups, his leadership is a farce
        He is not for democracy he is at best for guided democracy and only that as an excuse to further enrich himself and his cronies
        Your idea of what democracy is needs some serious polishing

      • Valkyrie1604

        Are you on to ‘one’ of those? Puff!

      • pukeonu

        Get your pap together son ! Only a few weeks ago you was screaming for Prabowo …

      • http://www.facebook.com/groups/Indonesian.Traditional.Cuisine/ AMPD

        “he’s elected and voted by majority of people”… just an illustration for you, 22roles… twice, TWO ROUNDS, i didn’t have the chance to vote, for both the house of parliament reps and president… why? because i’m just a minority of people who were, only god knows why, not being given the official ‘undangan/kartu pemilih’/voting pass/card or whatever by the local kelurahan based on some UNKNOWN reasons?!?… both times i reported to the local authorities and they did nothing!!! yet i’m officially registered as an indonesian citizen with an official KTP, passport, and NPWP card… oh finally though, they sent me an invitation to vote for the new governor of Jakarta… i’m just saying! that’s all…

      • Roland

        Whoaa – what happened with you 22? That’s the second time I read a sensible comment from you.

        However I don’t concur with your point of view. In my opinion SBY paved the way to such opinions in the public with his endless indecisiveness and his “embracing of his brothers” from the religious hard-line quarters as well as having coalition partners of exactly the same quarters who hold him since the last 4 years basically as hostage.

        Do you remember how his nickname was before he went into politics? The “thinking general” – many things have changed since then and with that SBY who has since his last inauguration just thinking about himself and his clan.

        Now on the other side – one wonders who ordered that survey – and surely also the results of the very same? I remember the PEW forum also recently published another survey which gave Prabowo the highest chances for a presidential run. Maybe the entire survey is based on stroking purposefully fear within the moderates and non-Muslims who would in this case rather, as I wrote in my first comment, vote for a presidential candidate who is a potential dictator in the making than for a “democratic” president who might allow the implementation of such Shariah law for all. Who knows? Its’ called I believe “wet engineering” the manipulation of a mindset to achieve a certain target…

      • pukesonbeer

        crap for your arm chair consultants….. naaa we have already got massive offshore accounts 22

  • http://www.facebook.com/groups/Indonesian.Traditional.Cuisine/ AMPD

    WOW! If 72% of Indonesian Muslims, both men & women, have voted for shariah law, what would become of Bali, Manado, NTT, Papua, and other non-Islamic population then?

    • blightyboy

      Civil war?

      • MadWorld

        1965 revisited but normally the radicals will have the upper hand.

    • Roland

      Bad luck then for them. As the vast majority seemingly wants to have Shariah law implemented – also for non-Muslims, they will have to abide WITHOUT EXCEPTION by the terms of those “revealed words of God” as they are citizen of the soon to come “Democratic Islamic Republic of Indonesia”. Maybe after a good bunch of them got flogged for insult and blasphemy they will recognize the beauty and perfection of those God given laws.

      Alternatively they can all convert to Islam which would then certainly satisfy also the needs of those 31 percent who think that it is their divine obligation to proselyte anyway those who are not of the “true faith”.

      I’m am also certain that this would in addition satisfy those infiltrators (aka certain coalition partners) in the government and at specific ministry posts, who work tireless to move Indonesia further and further into the abyss. Maybe a new Sudan or Somalia in the making. Or a divided country as in Nigeria but for that there are not enough non-believers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

    Well bring it on, let’s separate the wheat from the chaff, the penalty for thievery is getting your hand cut off, is that right? Will be a lot of one handed politicians will be walking around in the future then but then I doubt the DPR has the gonads to vote this in to law as they know what sdie their bread is buttered on and it takes t hands to butter bread.

    • Roland

      There will be then certainly a selective application of Shariah law which excludes those mentioned by you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

        Roland you sound as though you have intimate knowledge of the legislators here. I wonder what they would put in place for stealing? Being fined a chicken for each billion they are found guilty of stealing?

    • MadWorld

      One arm bandit, nah, impossible.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterJLink Peter

    I o not believe it – Load of rubbish.

    • Valkyrie1604

      I’m with you Peter. In any case they’ll lie in the beds they make for themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/groups/Indonesian.Traditional.Cuisine/ AMPD

    it’s sad, isn’t it?! :’(

    • devine

      Not sure, maybe it is supposed to be this way…

  • Roland

    The very same PEW Institute gave Prabowo recently an extremely high chance to become the next President (and potential dictator) of Indonesia.

    So the result of this “survey” might have well been coordinated and manipulated in advance to stir up fear within the moderates and non-Muslims to rather vote next election for a brute as Prabowo than a “democratic” president who would then for “democratic reasons” – (as it is seemingly the majority who wants such Shariah laws implemented) probably give it a go. That Prabowo is a manipulator is quite clear – so the survey might well have been coming from his quarters.

    Here’s the link to a PDF file which explains a bit the background of such possible mind manipulations. It’s called “The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation”.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.criticalthinking.org%2Fstore%2Fget_file.php%3Finventories_id%3D159%26inventories_files_id%3D319&ei=vviAUemcFM7n7AaQ54DABQ&usg=AFQjCNFQLlCu34RQ3rOmpYHVzAs676oPoA&sig2=uC_i86jUfAOVbWioPUGHfg&bvm=bv.45921128,d.ZGU

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Kafantaris/100000398466956 George Kafantaris

    The question is which religion is more tolerant?
    Tolerance has a holiness all to itself that transcends all religions, all cultures and all races. It’s the ideal civilized man should strive for; and the single barometer he should be measured with at the end of his life.
    This is because tolerance demands learning, understanding and life experience; it demands courage to express it; and constant vigilance, for the herd mentality is always encroaching, and will forever be the easiest road to follow.

    • Pukesalotonbeer

      I do not think I can say which religion is most tolerant. But on a local and global scale I am damn sure I know which is most violent and intolerant

      • Darren1

        Sure. If you compare the death toll caused by wars and colonizations initiated by Christian nations throughout the centuries with the death toll caused by ‘Muslim terrorists,’ you’ll be amazed… Just the last two World Wars resulted in around 70 million deaths.

        • Rustynail

          Wow amazing comment! ..Fairly sure Japan was hardly a Christian Nation. Not to mention the fact both those wars had sweet FA to do with religion. Dang I will need a winch for that red herring

  • MadWorld

    Please do not link democracy with muslim kind of democracy.
    Democracy (= rule of the people), is also a form of a way of life, with political,social and economical equality, tolerance toward minorities. Unfortunately there is also democratization of violence, that has been practiced by the radical moslim parties in Indonesia. Remember these radical moslim parties are democratically elected & financed by the government. Some government could not tolerate the democratization of violence perpetrated by their citizen, e.g; singapore, South Korea, Japan, U.K , USA, E.U..in these democratic countries freedom of speech that incites hatred , segregation are prohibited by law. for the West democracy means liberalism,but, limited by the rule of law take centre stage & the separation of powers. ( no judicial power to religion, or the Queen).When the followers of THE Religion wanted their religion to shape their personal, economical,social & political lives,is fine by me, BUT, it should not interfere with the personal, social, economical & political lives of the NON-Moslim.
    Thta’s why please do not link democracy with Islam.
    Matter of fact Indonesia were more tolerant & secular under Pak Suharto.

  • japra

    Well I think ..everyone that says yes on sharia’s law in this survey ..not know very much about sharia’s .. In ekonomi aspect,politik,social ,education … Etc etc etc

  • Rajiv

    [72 percent of Indonesia’s Muslim population would favor an Islamic legal code as the “official law of the land” if given the option.

    “Most of the country’s population are Muslims, so I think it represents the desires of most Indonesians to have more Shariah Law,”

    if Shariah is what the people want, the government should respond to their wishes.]

    I have been saying all along, sooner than later the implementation of Sharia laws, the Islamic jurisprudence based on and derived from the Noble Qu’ran will be a reality.

    It should apply to every one in Indonesia regardless of their background, religion, ethnicity or citizenship. Everyone should abide by our laws, the Sharia laws. This is a Muslim majority country which soon will be an Islamic republic of Indonesia, inshallah .

    • Roland

      “Everyone should abide by our laws…regardless of their background, religion, ethnicity or citizenship”!

      WHY????

      • Lupin

        because islam is shrinking in Indonesia, the population are getting more wise to the reality of live outside the mosque and instead of trying to understand why this is happening the response is force and violence

    • devine

      So Rajiv, please explain then why less than 20% vote for Islam based parties? it is further evidence that this “survey” is not for real…

  • sheldon

    Think I’ll start collecting stones.

  • TalkingEid

    How sad for all those Muslims who feel they cannot lead a good life unless compelled to do so by law.

  • wayan 85

    the day sharia becomes the law in Indonesia is the day Indonesia will go into a nonstop civile war and dinsintegration. Lets not forget that when Indonesia became one was with the one condition that its constitution would be for multiple religions and not just one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

      Not necessarily Wayan, I doubt the country would apply Sharia law to Chirstians and other religions, for them it will be business as usual.

      • Duncan

        Dewi
        In fact it would not be. Take Aceh as your example – Christians are now barred from taking political office, Christian women are often forced to wear head covers (in the govt offices), ALL food has to have Halal certs, and so much more often with violent consequences

        • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

          Ok so it is go along to get along, do they also require the Chrsitians to step in to their Mosques as well? I doubt it but then do they enforce the rule of a Muslim man attending the mosque on Friday no less than once every 3 Fridays?

          • Valkyrie1604

            Don’t fret guys! They know that if Shariah goes across the board this country will head for the “Black Hole.” Aceh has been like this for a very long time. They breed a special stock……”do what I tell you to do.”

            30 odd years ago I spent some time in that area (Meulaboh/Tapaktuan/Blangpidie) on a road construction project. First rule from the project manager….DO NOT stray from the camp. Break this rule, and you’re dispatched home.

            Aceh has NOTHING! Zilch! Hmmmm….except we all know what. Now, that’s ironical. Another reason “they” DO NOT like outsiders.

            I’ve been there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

            Valkyrie, I am not worried like some here of this passing the DPR. They like the inflow of money in to their personal accounts too much for that to take place. Besides they also would worry about being quized on their knowledge of the Koran. They only quote the good book once they get their hands caught in the cookie jar.

          • Valkyrie1604

            Hahaha! How right you are indeed. Imagine a full set of DPR members without their hands?

        • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

          By the way JG, I have read many many negative comments about the new JG website implementation. I go against the grain on this and say I think it has been implemented great. It is easy to read and easy to post and much easier to read all of the comments as they are posted.

          [WebEd: Thanks for the feedback! We're glad you like the new interface.]

          • devine

            WebEd, but still hope for a brief “preview” at the comments on the right side :)

      • devine

        So people of minorities then have to carry signs around their neck stating that they are not Muslim in order not to be arrested…?

        • D88

          Devine, you got it right. They will be also forced to live in separate areas, the only places where they could still build houses of worship. Oh wait, this IS happening.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

          Devine if this country ever implemented Sharia across the nation it would truly be a sight to be hold. I bet you once word got out you could actually hear a tightening of all of the bungholes around th country waiting to see what happens next.

  • Darren1

    Maybe you need to start researching academic sources, instead of Google. You can google UFOs and purple unicorns with the same result- you’ll be amazed. Sharia law is not even set in stone – it is the Quran, Hadith and the Sunnah, as you’ve mentioned, but it also a JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION of the legal verses found in those sources, which has varied in different times and circumstances.

    My source:Foster, Nicholas H. D. 2010. “Islamic Perspectives on the Law of
    Business Organisations I: An Overview of the Classical Sharia and a
    Brief Comparison of the Sharia Regimes with Western-Style Law.” European Business Organization Law Review 11, no. 1: 3-34. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost.

    • MadWorld

      Agreed. Google is the first step to get to know something.
      You are referring to the interpretation of the judiciary from a
      western view, not as viewed by the devout moslim.

  • D88

    Nation-wide sharia law in Indonesia i inevitable. Vast majority want it and they will get it, whether we like it or not. It is just matter of time, maybe 5 or 6 years, but it will happen. First districts, provinces and then nation wide – this is already happening from 2006, even if it is unconstitutional. It will be first applicable only to Muslims, but they will very soon rule it to be applicable to all Indonesians. Then, Indonesia will finally become Shariah country, along prestigious nations such as Sudan, Somalia, Niger, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. Current state of these countries paints the future of Indonesia.

    • DrDez

      I am inclined to agree -

    • devine

      Will not happen… Indonesia will fall apart in such a case… I like your list of “prestigious” nations… you are surely cynical here… if not, you might consult a shrink…

      • DrDez

        Devine

        Sadly the cloak of invisibility worn by our leaders and the silent majority is taking us inevitably towards the dark abyss and yes that might mean severe separation or severe TNI a la ’65
        As always it will be the common man who suffers

        • Valkyrie1604

          Dez: I believe you’re familiar with local statistics. Can you share your knowledge on the percentage of the populace that’s above 50 years of age?

          You may want to know the reason for this question.It’s purely my opinion that these block of people (majority) are mainly uneducated and can be easily led like lambs to slaughter.
          Depending on who takes the reign in 2014, I’ll give a period of about 7-10 years thereafter before we can tell more precisely the direction of the Shariah compass.
          By then, the youths of today will average an age of 22-25 and these are the people that will speak up. I have faith in them. Look around you at the educated youths of today. Many of them aspire to be professionals, have a family, a comfortable house and maybe a car too! Oh yes…and kids also.
          We’re both in our twilight years and by God’s grace we might live to see this country move ahead.

          • D88

            Valkyrie1604, good comment and I agree with you, but “youths of today will average an age of 22-25 and these are the people that will speak up” – do you think the outcome could be the same as in the Egyptian Revolution or Indonesia is different?

          • Valkyrie1604

            No, I do not believe we will see a revolution in this country. Indonesians do not want to be treated as pariahs within the ASEAN arena.

            What’s happening now are “teething problems” for a growing nation. I am confident, with proper guidance, it’ll become a nation to reckon with.

            The youths of today are totally different from their parents. Many have the presence of mind to see the dangers lurking behind proposals like Shariah Law and the likes.

            I hope hat the future leaders will concentrate more on education as this is the most vital aspect for stability and prosperity. Permit me to say that Singapore has done it and it worked.

          • DrDez

            I do not – I see a ever widening gap between rich and poor and that is providing the young man in particular a direct route to radical Islam

            However, instead of directing their anger towards an administration that has failed them (jobs/education/expression) they are manipulated to direct it towards the goals of some radical Muslims – Riziq for example.

            The FPI / GARIS and others provide an outlet for anger and they give them money / goods and above all they give them power –

            The nation will continue this slippery slope until the govt starts to be serious about poor people and they act with equality to all Indonesians – It actually may be too late meaning the wider radical v everyone else conflict is inevitable

            the Islam KTP will be forced to choose, as will people like SBY and Ali. I am not confident they will choose a path I like

          • MadWorld

            Dez. Are Indonesian citizen oblige to vote?
            If not,usually ,Indonesian moderates will stay at home, like what happened in Pakistan, &, Egypt and the radicals are oblige to vote coerced & paid by their leaders.
            In most EU countries we are compulsorily obliged to vote,if you could not come ,we must mandatorily assign friend or family to vote on our behalf.

          • sissi

            This sort of positive attitude is very much needed… Fully agree that good education through out Indonesia is crucial in order for Indonesia to move ahead.

          • Valkyrie1604

            Thanks ‘sissi’ but they’re NOT doing it. It appears they want the citizenry remain “not too smart.”
            I was just watching Trans where two sisters are compelled to help their mother distribute cakes for sale at various ‘warungs.’ The meager returns they get are primarily for their sustenance. The father? Not around it seems.

            Attending school? Certainly NOT! Give a good guess how many others like these two sisters are around in this country?
            It’s pathetic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dewi.thompson.9 Dewi Thompson

    Fair enough, obviously I have not kept up with how they are applyingthis in Aceh to understand the implications. Well it sure would put the feet to the fire of the expats here if they ever implemented nationwide. But given that the DPR members depend on expats and big business ties to rake in the cash I doubt they would upset their applecart of personal finanaces by implementing it nationwide.

    • http://www.facebook.com/groups/Indonesian.Traditional.Cuisine/ AMPD

      @dewi: I admire your optimism. Oh well… yes, you MAY be right. But, I still believe there is a very dangerous time bomb ticking.. and ticking either slowly or even quite remarkably fast… Let’s see what will happen in 2014, or even earlier… fingers crossed that everything will be alright in the end…

  • devine

    how about you sign up that disqus too, DD :) Still many posters not around like padt and others….

    • DrDez

      I actually like the ability to tailor the screen name to the response – others, who are far more creative than me, seem to be making an art of it

  • Valkyrie1604

    Knew I could depend on you for the data. Thank you very much!

    Assuming the stats exhibit current situation, a fair percentage (25%?) of those 0-14 will be eligible to vote come 2014. That makes a total of approximately 20 million.

    For the 15-24 ages, we have a total of about 42 million

    Then those between 25-54, which represents the bulk, a total of approximately 105 million. Let’s cut this amount by 50%.

    What I am trying to say is we will have about 100 million that are educated with a fair percentage having up to tertiary education. The numbers looks good for the types that are able to “think.”

    I am of the opinion that the radicals will find it a little harder to convince the “new generation” in time to come. I have provided simple equations and predicating on these numbers, the future looks good for Indonesia…..I truly hope so.

  • Proudathe

    The survey should first and foremost asked “do you know why sharia law entails?”

  • D88

    Would your friends living in Saudi Arabia happen to be women? Too bad they are not permitted to drive and cannot travel alone in Saudi Arabia. I also hope they are not Christians. On December 15, 2011, Saudi security forces arrested 35 Ethiopian
    Christians in Jeddah who were praying in a home, beating them and
    threatening them with death. When the Ethiopian workers’ employers asked
    security forces for what reason they were arrested, they said “for
    practising Christianity”. In December of 2012, Saudi religious police detained more than 41
    individuals after storming a house in the Saudi Arabian province of
    al-Jouf. They were accused of “plotting to celebrate Christmas”. Indeed Saudi Arabia is a very peaceful country. 200,000 western expat servants can confirm.

    • Darren1

      My friends are a married couple. They don’t give a flying monkey’s fart about whether or not women can drive alone in Saudi Arabia or not. They are very happy to drive together anywhere they want to go.

      Expats in Saudi Arabia are more than welcome to pray and celebrate Christmas in residential complexes where they live (special ones for foreigners). They have churches, regular (non-segregated) swimming pools, and stores that sell booze. Saudis don’t care what foreigners do in those complexes. I am not sure which servants you’re talking about.

      http://www.internations.org/saudi-arabia-expats/guide/living-in-saudi-arabia-15364

      Just like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia is a different country with different rules. If you don’t like it, you are welcome to leave.

      • MadWorld

        I would do the same if I were living in Saudi Arabia, but, it will be different if you were a women , alone, blond & attractive!!!
        As a women you are not supposed to travel by yourself outside your golden compound.And if you got raped outside the gated compound I do not think the Sharia law will provides you a civilian right. Tell me, & let me know.

        • Darren1

          I cannot recall reading about blond and attractive lone women getting posted to jobs in Saudi. Neither have I ever heard about Western women getting raped there. Have you?

    • Darren1

      “Saudi Arabia is a very peaceful country. 200,000 western expat servants can confirm”
      Ethiopians are not Westerners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/idropdeadgorgeous Fransisko Lojaya

    I always believe that religious matters and state affairs should not be fused into one

  • EuanMie

    Heh, well sanity is alas so often much further down the list. This same phenomenon can also be seen in America, where 90% of the population regularly claims to believe in God or some vaguely defined “universal spirit”. Well, that just doesn’t really square with church attendance figures.

  • EuanMie

    “…You could take up the line that some of the gnostics took up — a line which I often thought was a very plausible one — that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that.”

    (Bertrand Russell, Philosopher and Atheist)

  • MadWorld

    Money talks, 200.000 servants kow tow accordingly.
    Yes sir, of course sir, Your wish is my command.
    200.000 GOD is colored GREEN.

  • Muffinman

    @ Jake. I guess it depends on how you define ‘law’ . Laws are made for the governance of society , agreed. Changes are made to laws when there are significant shifts in society. We may no longer need to cut off the hand of a thief because there are new laws regarding theft and burglary (well in most modern legal systems that is) and they serve as a deterrent to that crime and as a reminder that theft is not just.
    The prohibition of eating pork was introduced at a time when disease and stomach worms were rampant and pigs were a well known ‘host’ of these things. Since the invention of penicillin and better medical health care and hygiene practices , one might argue that the law is ‘out dated’.
    I think just about any ‘law’ will work if the leaders of society are ‘just’.
    Ultimately it should be up to ‘society’ to decide who is just.

    • pork

      Lucky for Indonesians that they don’t eat pork, it has the trichina
      worm,
      had worms then and has worms now,
      If you half cook pork or spoiled pork
      you are done,
      If you cook it right or freeze it for 24 hours you are ok,
      can’t
      be like the beef hang out all day and then eat it

  • MadWorld

    Double standard thanks to hypocrisy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/idropdeadgorgeous Fransisko Lojaya

    Laws should be made based on what society needs, not just because of your religion (any religion) says so. Any governments, even those who are secular, will be functioning well if they have a ‘just’ leader, as you already mention it.

  • rustynail

    So where is this mystical, magical, land of Sharia where all is well and all are happy Jake

  • Valkyrie1604

    Jake, if the leaders are just and and fear ‘Allah’ you do not require Shariah Laws.

  • Valkyrie1604

    MW: The Holy Bible and the Koran were written donkey years ago. What was written can not be applied in this modern day world. I am a Christian but I do not adhere to some portions of the Bible that tells me how I should live. Example…an eye for an eye?

    I firmly believe that eventually the younger generation will lean towards a more liberal Islam.

    Saudi Arabia? Wait till the oil wells run dry.

    • Voxclara

      Hi Val, actually Christ came and made the old laws more perfect, he came and made everything new. Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
      He also teaches us to turn the other cheek as well, so an eye for an eye from the OT is replaced by Christ’s ‘turning the other cheek’ an essential Christian doctrines of responding to an aggressor without violence. Christ set the most perfect example by dying on the cross and forgave his persecutors….. So His message which are recorded in the Holy Scriptures are still very relevant today, just my thoughts.

      • mauriceg

        Hi Voxclara, i know that everyone declares that ‘an eye for an eye’ suggests violence, but the opposite may be actually true. In these days, punishments could be totally disproportionate to the crime committed. I know violence of most sorts is anathema to us moderns, but in those days we didn’t have decent, honest law enforcement. (And in keeping with the spirit of these times, Indonesia doesn’t either).

        The term, An eye for an eye is likely figurative for a proportional and measured response, not to be taken overliterally.

        I don’t know what your experience is, but I lived in Israel for nearly 10 years. I have seen the holy places, (and done guard duty in the IDF in some too, especially in Hebron). I came to regard these places with great respect (although modern-day Nazareth isn’t so nice). I see the Bible mainly as history, but in the context of fulfilled prophecy, a book, a work of fiction, (The Apostle by Scholem Asch) had much more impact, and I could truly understand the messianic zeal of those who believed that Jesus was the Anointed one (ha’mashiach).
        It is quite amusing in that it is possible to read documents like the Dead Sea Scrolls( when the text is clear and intact), as the style of writing is amazingly like printed Hebrew.

    • TGIF

      I can’t wait for that day when the country runs dry…Well for now, their wasabi (oops wahabi) mindset should not coerce others (Muslim and non Muslim) who want nothing to do with it.

  • Valkyrie1604

    hendrik….He gave mankind…..free will!

  • Valkyrie1604

    That’s where the problem lies.

  • Valkyrie1604

    Not too worry, most of us don’t either.

  • Darren1

    It is not “the interpretation by the western world” or “by radical/devout Muslims”. It is the explanation of the original (classical) Sharia:

    The Koran contains a considerable number of verses with legal significance but it is far from being a comprehensive legal code. It is supplemented by accounts of the Prophet’s words and deeds, his sunna, each recorded in a short narrative called a hadith (usually translated as ‘Tradition’).7 Even the combination of Koran and hadiths, however, does not provide solutions to every issue. The jurists therefore devised techniques to develop the law, the usul al-fiqh (the roots of jurisprudence), notably qiyas (analogy) and ijma’ (consensus, at first that of the whole community, then that of the jurists). Various other concepts were of relevance, including ’urf(custom).

    Same source as above.

  • Darren1

    “The development of the law by means of these techniques took place in a process called ijtihad. The literal meaning of the word is ‘effort’. Its legal sense is ‘independent judgment in a legal or theological question, based on the interpretation and
    application of the [sources of the sharia], as opposed to taqlid [following established rules and doctrine].’In other words, it is a human activity which interprets the will of Allah as manifested in the Koran and the Sunna. Only someone with a deep knowledge of the law is mujtahid, or qualified to exercise ijtihad. The term has two further meanings: creativity in Islamic law; and the adaptation of Islamic law to modern conditions”. Same source as above.

    Such words as “creativity” and “adaptation to modern conditions” don’t sound too bad. The problem is, there is no such thing as a classical Sharia anymore, it is now a perversion by hare-brained experts such as FPI.

  • duncan

    might be

  • Valkyrie1604

    Wong….No, you got it wrong! For certain, you’re NOT familiar with Christianity.

    • Wong Edan

      Please spare me the patronising and answer the question. The OT god got it wrong didn’t he?

      • Valkyrie1604

        Grow up! I was NOT patronizing you at all! In fact it was more of an insult towards your knowledge about a subject you are certainly ignorant of.

        “The old testament god got it wrong didn’t he?”

        You have no respect for God when you fail to use capital letters in reference to Him.

        Therefore, I do not foresee any good in perpetuating this exchange with you for obvious reasons.

        I’ll end this with a parable suitable for some.

        Mat 13:4 “Some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds ate them.”

        I’ll spare you the last say.

      • Valkyrie1604

        Grow up! I was NOT patronizing you at all! In fact it was more of an insult towards your knowledge about a subject you are certainly ignorant of.

        “The old testament god got it wrong didn’t he?”

        You have no respect for God when you fail to use capital letters in reference to Him.

        Therefore, I do not foresee any good in perpetuating this exchange with you for obvious reasons.

        I’ll end this with a parable suitable for some.

        Mat 13:4 “Some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds ate them.”

        I’ll spare you the last say.

        • Wong Edan

          So answer the question. The OT god got it wrong didn’t he? Either he did, or JC lied. Which one is it?

      • Valkyrie1604

        Grow up! I was NOT patronizing you at all! In fact it was more of an insult towards your knowledge about a subject you are certainly ignorant of.

        “The old testament god got it wrong didn’t he?”

        You have no respect for God when you fail to use capital letters in reference to Him.

        Therefore, I do not foresee any good in perpetuating this exchange with you for obvious reasons.

        I’ll end this with a parable suitable for some.

        Mat 13:4 “Some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds ate them.”

        I’ll spare you the last say.

      • Valkyrie1604

        Grow up! I was NOT patronizing you at all! In fact it was more of an insult towards your knowledge about a subject you are certainly ignorant of.

        “The old testament god got it wrong didn’t he?”

        You have no respect for God when you fail to use capital letters in reference to Him.

        Therefore, I do not foresee any good in perpetuating this exchange with you for obvious reasons.

        I’ll end this with a parable suitable for some.

        Mat 13:4 “Some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds ate them.”

        I’ll spare you the last say.

  • Voxclara

    Thanks Val, it is interesting that the Islamic prohibition on pork has its root in Judaism including circumcision and fasting. Muhammed took and plagiarised from Jewish and Christian traditions and scriptures.

    You might be interested in this fact too:
    CHRISTIANITY: THE MOST PERSECUTED WORLD FAITH

    http://www.saintanthonyofpadua.net/messaggero/pagina_stampa.asp?R=&ID=118

    • Wong Edan

      …and Christianity stole the good stories from the Jews. By the way, I think that link should be “the most persecuting”, with the abuses by Catholic priests being only the most recent example…

  • DrDez

    Jake
    When I hear Muslims (often decent men and women) say ‘do not judge Islam by the actions of the terrorists/FPI et al’ I remind myself of your point.
    In fact it reinforces my belief that it is nothing more than a total control mechanism designed and developed by men to maintain power and pliability and works by providing an outlet for violence (West/Israel/Ahmadiyah/Christians) and a set of values so easily corrupted that we see the result globally.
    …whatever god make doesnt break… except skulls. Which the named religion breaks all too frequently

  • Rotes11

    LOL – yep blame someone else

    Like Rusty – I would like to know where this utopia is

  • Wong Edan

    “an explanation why … there are so many gay Indonesian men” Huh? Are you saying a shortage of women makes people gay?

  • Darren1

    Bingo, MadWorld. Those who go to Saudi Arabia confine themselves to the gold cage, just because they want to work those well-paid jobs and buy some nice house in their home country. To do that, they have to follow certain rules, but do not necessarily have to understand or agree with them. One thing though, some do not have much choice – either that or go back home and flip burgers in some restaurant for $10 or so per hour.

    • MadWorld

      Money talks, Sharia nullified.

  • Otniel Yehezkiel

    Shariah is not Pancasila

  • Bli Wayan Ketut

    Yes, I like this, Cause now Balinese can say “Bali Merdeka” without feeling guilty :)

    • tahugejrot

      where have you been pak Ketut ? Bali should have been independent since the day one ….
      Look at the first principle in Pancasila : ketuhanan yg Maha esa (unity of God)
      Where did that come from ?

  • pork

    Look around before you speak

  • Wow

    72 percent of Indonesia’s Muslim population would favor an
    Islamic legal code as the “official law of the land” if given the option.

    72 Percent is exactly the same as the percentage of Indonesia’s
    who haven’t made it to the 7th grade in school