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NU figure says refusal of sharia perda is not blasphemy

Tempo - November 19, 2018

Antara, Jakarta – Nahdalatul Ulama's young figure Akhmad Sahal deems the resistance or refusal of a religion-based regional regulation (Perda) cannot be considered as an act of blasphemy.

"I think it's silly when defiance against a religious Perda is seen as an act of blasphemy," said Sahal in Jakarta on Sunday, November 18. Sahal argues that a Perda based on Islam's Sharia or Christian belief is a product of regional governance, not a religious law.

His statement is a direct reaction of the recent incident where Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) Chairwoman Grace Natalie was reported to the police by the Indonesian Muslim Workers' Brotherhood (PPMI).

Sahal also reminded the group that the idea of a religious Perda was not only rejected by Grace Natalie, but also by established Islamic figures such as the late KH Hasyim Muzadi and Buya Syafii Ma'arif. "You can crosscheck this in news back in 2006 when KH Hasyim Muzadi was adamant against the Sharia Perda," he said.

He maintains that the Islamic law cannot be transformed into a positive law, which is not compatible with a country that upholds the saying 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika', which directly translates to unity in diversity.

Furthermore, Akhmad Sahal questioned whether PPMI would also report the late KH Hasyim Muzadi or Buya Syafi'i to the police and accuse the men of blasphemy. Sahal personally thinks that Grace Natalie's refusal of such Perda is not against the religious law per se, but against the Perda's content, which she deemed discriminative.

Source: http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2018/11/19/055923557/NU-Figure-says-Refusal-of-Sharia-Perda-is-Not-Blasphemy