Anies Baswedan: “Government tends to allow intolerance to continue unchecked”
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Paramadina University Rector, Anies Baswedan, said that peace in Indonesia was in a vulnerable position. "Because our peaceful stability stands at gunpoint, that is, the prohibition of speaking of an issue linked to ethnicity, religion, race and inter-group [sentiments]," said Anies at a discussion entitled "Democracy With Minimum Tolerance" at the offices of the Center of Strategic and International Studies" on Tuesday.
As a result, said the Muslim intellectual, our peoples had no experience of properly interacting and discussion on these issues. When the people rub shoulders, even slightly, on such issues, intolerance erupts."Unfortunately the government has tended to leave acts of intolerance alone," he said. Our state apparatus, said Anies, hesitates when dealing with cases of intolerance, specifically religious violence and violence toward minorities.
Anies, citing a regional administration that issues intolerant local policies, said that the central government appears to leave such regulations alone. Eventually this thing sets a precedent for other regional governments that also seek to apply similar regulations. "We'll just all wait and watch until the seeds of intolerance expand further," he said. Anies said further that at first [intolerance] grows in people's mind. Then intolerance develops into real actions.
Anies said it is high time the state took action by upholding the law and punished any emerging acts of intolerance.
Anies said further that the way to prevent intolerance is to reactivate the values of diversity and to teach tolerance in the educational system. Being taught tolerance during young age, children will learn to understand diversity.
By Rafika Aulia
06 June 2012