When you compare the Indonesian KTP with identification cards from other countries (such as Malaysia or The Netherlands), one thing you might notice is that unlike the Indonesian identification card, they do not state the religion of it’s owner. <br />
History<br />The official law dates back to the 1960s, when Indonesia was still struggling against Communist parties and also against tribes with a different religious belief that still practiced human sacrifice. <br />Since the 1960’s there is an organization specifically constructed to keep track of religions in Indonesia called PAKEM (PengawasAliranKepercayaanMasyarakat). <br />
What started out as an organization to keep track of religions, PAKEM then turned into an organization that judges whether certain beliefs can be officially recognized. <br />With PAKEM around, many local beliefs have been forced to identify themselves as one of the six religions Indonesia recognizes. <br />
The Government’s Side<br />Even after a huge debate that happened in 2006 regarding the tendency of people using the identity cards as a source of discrimination, Indonesia’s House of Representatives and government have decided to keep listing one’s religion on identity cards. <br />
Members of different faiths outside of Indonesia’s six recognized religion (Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism) criticized the decision as a violation of human rights.<br />The government is worried that if the law is revoked, blasphemy may arise. <br />
A Tool For Discrimination<br />The Religion column in Indonesian ID's cause discrimination, it does not do anything to help the country be whole. <br />Stating a religious identity on a card could bring potential danger to someone if they happen to be in an area of “conflict”.<br />You can’t leave blank the space for religion on an Indonesian ID card or else you are likely to face difficulty attending college or university, getting a job or even marrying and having children. <br />
Identifying religion on the KTP encourages division of a nation. Since people start thinking that they are a part of a community built on the foundation of religion rather than a citizen of a nation. <br />Discrimination of minority faiths do happen often. Such as the state declining to record marriages of people of or people born to indigenous beliefs. <br />
Violation of the Constitution<br />The rejection of traditional beliefs was a serious violation of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion. Salvation is found not only in the six religions but also in traditional beliefs. <br />Article 28 of the Constitution clearly states that the government must recognize all religions and faiths.<br />
A Political Motive<br />A Muslim scholar, BuddhyMunawarRachman of Paramadhina University, said that: <br />"Politicians are well aware that religions constitute the single most important attribute by which the people identify themselves and they play the religion card to garner as much support as possible.”<br />
Global Awareness<br />Most of the countries in the world do not state one’s personal beliefs as a part of their identity. With the exceptions being, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, others. <br />Human Rights Watch and the Asia Human Rights Commission said the decision was a setback for democracy in the world’s most populous Muslim country. <br />
Examples from History<br />We all know what happened in Europe in the 30’s and 40’s, where the Jews got the character J stamped on their IDs, it was the perfect tool in the extermination of the Jews, resulting in 6.000.000 people killed. <br />We saw what happened in Rwanda where the ID’s stated whether you were a Tutsi or Hutu, resulting in 800.000 people killed.<br />
Conclusion<br />It all comes down to the question: Is identifying your religion on your identification card necessary? Does it add any guaranteed services from the government? Or is it just used in a political agenda or as a tool in discrimination. <br />If the government must list someone’s religion in their identity card, then they should not only recognize six official religions as everyone has the right to their personal beliefs. <br />
Sources<br />http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/04/20/in-indonesia-keeping-the-religious-status-quo/<br />Subianto. What ??? KTP Indonesia pakekolom Agama??. September 19, 2010. http://kejawen-religion.blogspot.com/2010/09/what-ktp-indonesia-pake-kolom-agama.htmlhttp://<br />Ardianto, Hendra Tri. MenolakDiskriminasiKeyakinan. January 29, 2010. www.hendratryardianto.co.cc/2010/01/menolak-diskriminasi-keyakinan_29.html<br />David. KTP Religion. May 6, 2006. http://www.indonesiamatters.com/834/ktp-religion/<br />
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