Jakarta – Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP) head Yudian Wahyudi has drawn criticism for his comment on the supposed friction between religion and state ideology Pancasila during an interview with online news outlet detik.com.
Yudian, who currently serves as the rector of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta, reflected on the relationship between Pancasila and mass organizations, including political parties, in modern Indonesian history during the interview.
He remarked that the state ideology had been "murdered" at the administrative level ever since political parties were allowed to adopt ideologies other than Pancasila in the Reform era.
Furthermore, he lamented actors and groups reducing religion to a political tool to further personal interests that ran counter to the core values of Pancasila. Religion, therefore, posed the biggest threat to Pancasila, he claimed.
"Minority groups want to oppose Pancasila and appear as the majority. This is dangerous. If we're being honest, Pancasila's biggest enemy is religion, not tribalism," Yudian said as quoted by detik.com on Wednesday.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed Yudian as BPIP head on Tuesday, the BPIP is expected to promote the values of Pancasila, particularly among the younger generation. He succeeded Yudi Latif, who stepped down in June 2018. BPIP vice chairman Hariyono held the position as acting chairman for 20 months before Yudian's appointment.
A number of political and religious figures have since taken offense at Yudian's remarks about religion contradicting Pancasila, with some calling for his immediate dismissal from office.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Hidayat Nur Wahid wrote on his official Twitter account @hnurwahid that Yudian's statement was "radical".
"BPIP head's radical statement is ahistoric and irrational. [Indonesian presidents] Sukarno and Suharto never turned religion into Pancasila's enemy. Bung Karno [Sukarno] respected religion in its relation to Pancasila," Hidayat tweeted.
Gerindra Party executive Fadli Zon also took to Twitter against Yudian's statement, calling for the immediate disbandment of the BPIP.
"The BPIP head does not understand history or Pancasila. He sees religion as Pancasila's biggest enemy. Let's just disband the BPIP since it only distorts Pancasila and pits the country's youth against each other," Fadli wrote in his official Twitter account @fadlizon.
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) secretary-general Anwar Abbas responded to Yudian's controversial statement, saying that the BPIP head deserved to be dishonorably discharged for his remarks.
"How could the BPIP head hold such a belief?" Anwar said as quoted by Antara news agency, adding that it was Yudian's statement that posed a great threat to national unity. (rfa)