Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Largest Muslim Nation

I read it again and again.

Let me make this clear! Indonesia is NOT a Muslim country! And for good reason.

If Indonesia was a Muslim country, it wouldn't be Indonesia anymore, rather it would be called Sumava or Javatra (yeh, I know it's not quite as simple as that, but you get the point).

The founding fathers were a lot of things, but they were NOT stupid.

If Indonesia ever became a "Muslim" country it would cease to exist, evaporating almost instantaneously.

[What is a "Muslim" country anyway? Cak Nur famously said that the *USA* was closer to being an ideal Muslim society than most (every?) society which is known as Muslim. Something to ponder for all those who get worked up about Bintang Zero (0% alcohol) and Playboy Indonesia (0% flesh).]

16 comments:

spew-it-all said...

People will often judge based on what happens on the surface. So Indonesia could be a blatant example. A number of Aussies seemed to be surprised when i told them that i was brought up in a very devoted Catholic family.

Kana Haya said...

Thx for the statement! =)
We are not a Moslem country. but i agree that Moslem is the majority here. so that perhaps makes people outside Indonesia who never come and see and know exactly about Indonesia said that we are a Moslem country.

though, I dont proud of it at all. coz they're mostly just saying that they are Moslem without doing what a Moslem must to do.

Denica said...

Indonesia is not a moslem country? u mean? this precise statement has been injected to us students by our bahasa teacher. indonesia is the largest moslem country in the world.

johnorford said...

Denica,

well obviously indonesia has the largest population of muslims in the world, but the constitution etc is not "islamic". therefore ppl shouldn't call it a "muslim" country...

spew-it-all said...

Agree with John, the label 'largest moslem country' does necessarily imply that Indonesia is a moslem country. This label seems to create confusion as the adjective after the word country could give a strong sense that such label is true. It is different of course if we call Indonesia is islamic country.

JudeTheObscure said...

Hoi John,

Your blogs have a lot of insight thrown in. Ive always liked blogs that denounce religions communalism. Nice ones, keep posting.

Kind regards,

Jude

johnorford said...

i am not sure what you mean by religious communalism, nevertheless thanks for the comment.

Dino said...

I'm an Indonesian muslim. I think you are absolutely right, Indonesia is not a muslim country. I just wished that muslims in Indonesia are more tolerant to other religion. I'm not saying that Indonesian muslim is not tolerant, but there are still a few problems concerning religion in Indonesia (Poso for example). Indonesia can be a breath of fresh air for muslim all around the world because Indonesia can show to the world how a nation with the biggest muslim population in the world can be tolerant to other religion. We are surely in that direction and I believe tolerance in Indonesia will prevail.

johnorford said...

i also believe tolerance will prevail in indonesia - but not without brave people who are willing to stand up for tolerance in the face of often violent oppression.

I reckon that one shouldn't overlook poverty as being a contributory factor of religious / racial intolerance in indonesia.

thx for dropping by dino!

Drew said...

Well, perhaps Indonesia is not officially a Muslim country, just as the United States is not officially a Christian country. However, considering the fact that Indonesia has over 44 million more Muslims than Pakistan, the runner-up in said category, then Indonesia has by far the largest Muslin population of any one country in the world.

Andibachtiar Yusuf said...

india has more moslem population, believe me. according to their data, moslems are 20% from all of them and they have 1,5 billion people. so! they have at least 300 million moslem, while the whole nation in indonesia including christian etc are 240 million only
islam is not a religion in my country, it's a culture :-p

johnorford said...

Good point Andi - never thought of it that way! :)

Ahmed said...

Its the country with the largest muslim population in the world! But you are right, that its not a "Muslim Country" (meaning it doesnt follow exact Islamic Law)!! But then again, is there a single "Muslim Nation" on the Earth?? NO!!! Saudia Arabia is probably the closest and its still not 100% Islamic Law!!

johnorford said...

that's true Ahmad, and I am sure that many muslims would say Saudi is faaaaar from an islamic country...

depends on what floats you islamic boat i suppose.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John for the great blog. I am sick and tired of people calling my country a "muslim country"

Indonesia is a secular nation that happens to have 190 million Muslim citizens. And its embrace of democracy has nothing to do with religion.

My father is a Catholic, my Mother is a Hindu Bali, and my 2 brothers are Muslims, and I do not have any religion, but celebrating their holidays.

hutami
Bali

johnorford said...

Hutami, I too celebrate as many holidays as I can : ))