Widya Michella, Jakarta – The secretary general of the country's peak Islamic body the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), Amirsyah Tambunan, is asking the Surabaya District Court to annul a recent interfaith marriage that it authorised on June 20.
The marriage is registered as Number 916/Pdt./2022/PN/Sby.
"In relation to the problem of the interfaith marriage the district court has the authority to examine and rule on the case. Meaning when it examined and ruled on it the district court should have annulled the marriage", said Tambunan as quoted on the official MUI website on Wednesday June 22.
Tambunan again warned that interfaith marriages clearly conflict with the country's laws. A marriage is considered legal if it is done in accordance with the couple's respective beliefs.
"A couples of different religions and different faiths conflicts with Article 2 (1) of Law Number 1/1997 [on Marriage which states] a marriage is legal if it is conducted according to their respective religions and faiths", said Tambunan.
Interfaith marriages, said Tambunan, are clearly against the 1945 Constitution as explained in Article 28B Paragraph 1 which reads, "Any person has the right to form a family and produce offspring's through a legal marriage". Paragraph 2 reads, "Any person has the right to live, grow and develop along with the right to protection from violence and discrimination".
"With an interfaith marriage a conflict occurs with legal logic, because aside from the different religions and also different beliefs followed by the perspective man and wife which is this case must be rejected and annulled", he said. (muh)
Indonesian law is somewhat vague on the issue of interfaith marriages with one clause in the Marriage Law stating that a marriage is valid "if conducted according to laws of religion and belief of both parties". While minority religions in Indonesia may allow the practice, the mainstream belief among Indonesian Muslims is that interfaith marriage is forbidden. In 2005 the MUI issued a fatwa (religious edict) declaring interfaith marriage haram or forbidden under Islamic law. Several attempts to challenge this with the Constructional Court in the past have failed.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI Minta PN Surabaya Batalkan Pernikahan Beda Agama".]