In June, 56 Indonesian MPs – including members of Muslim political groups – called upon the President to abolish sharia-inspired decrees and ordinances adopted in recent years in various districts and towns around the country, reports the French Catholic monthly Eglises d’Asie (June 16). Following Suharto’s fall in 1998 and decentralization, 22 districts and municipalities have introduced sharia-based regulations, meeting criticism, but no legal opposition.
The MPs’ initiative represents a first attempt in what is seen as a possible new trend against tendencies to Islamicize the Indonesian legal system. At the same time, the government seems to have become more opposed to radical Muslim groups. While it had already expressed similar views in the past, the government appears to be willing to use appropriate means to counter radical trends in the name of security and public order.
(Eglises d’Asie, 128 rue du Bac, 75341 Paris Cedex 07, France –http://eglasie.mepasie.org)
— By Jean-Francois Mayer