Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto's vice presidential running mate Sandiaga Uno says that he and the Just and Prosperous Indonesian Coalition – the coalition supporting the Prabowo-Sandiaga presidential ticket – support the application of regional regulations based on religion such as syariah based bylaws in Aceh.
According to Sandiaga, perda (bylaws) based on syariah (Islamic law) are part of local kearifan (wisdom, learning) and should not be challenged any more.
"There isn't any problem with it, we have already said that it is within the framework of a legal corridor which [we have] agreed represents kearifan", said Sandiaga during a goodwill meeting with Achenese ulama (Islamic leaders) at the Hermes Hotel in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh on Tuesday November 20.
Sandiaga added that syariah based bylaws can promote the application of Islam that is complete or kaffah (to abide by Islamic tenets in their entirety) and also presents key solutions for the economy and good character and behavior or akhlakul karimah (good deeds, proper Islamic behaviour). Sandiaga asserted therefore that there does not need to be any more debate about syariah based bylaws.
"We support them because they are a part of kearifan which we will support in the future. It is something that we don't need to interfere with or challenge any more. We agree with them", said Sandiaga.
Santiago's statement was a response to a request by the Acehnese ulama present at the meeting for the Prabowo-Sandiaga ticket to provide latitude to regional administrations to apply syariah based bylaws. Sandiaga visited Aceh in as part of his first political safari to Indonesia's western-most province.
Religious based bylaws such as those based on syariah or the Bible have become a subject of public debate after Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) chairperson Grace Natalie expressed her opposition to them. The PSI is of the view that bylaws based on syariah or the Bible discriminate against minorities.
In the same vein, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has also rejected bylaws based on religious stipulations such as syariah or the Bible. For the PDI-P, there is no such thing as syariah bylaws because all regulations are derived from the constitution.
As a result of Natalie's statement, the Fraternity of Indonesian Muslim Workers (PPMI) represented by their attorney Eggi Sudjana has reported Natalie to the police for blasphemy.
The PPMI reported her for allegedly spreading hatred with Sudjana saying that Natalie's statement on the emergence of intolerance and discrimination as a consequence of syariah based bylaws was a public lie.
Although the PDI-P claims that it does not support religious based regional regulations, Widodo's vice presidential running mate Ma'ruf Amin contradicted this several days ago by saying that he has no problem with them. Other members of the coalition of political parties backing the Widodo-Amin presidential ticket have also come out in support of religious bylaws with the Islamic based United Development Party (PPP) and Suharto's former ruling Golkar Party both asserting that bylaws based on Islamic law are in accordance with the state ideology of Pancasila. The PSI is also continuing to back Widodo's election bid despite its public opposition to religious bylaws.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Sandi Sebut Perda Syariah Perlu Didukung dan Jangan Diganggu".]