So it’s that time of the year again in Indonesia where you will see most restaurants either closed down during the day or spread a curtain on their usually cleared windows to cover the people eating inside. These veiled windows will be a very common sightings for a month.
It’s the holy month for the Muslim as they start their one month long fasting or known as Ramadhan. Being one of the largest Muslim populated country in the world, it means this whole month long event will affects everyone even from different religions.
When I was still working, the company’s canteen will be closed for lunch leaving us, non Muslim to find lunch somewhere else or just fast away and eat after 6PM where they will break the day’s fast – if they are on the second shift, etc.
Also because people who fast will be up before the crack of dawn, the ‘wake up call‘ can be really annoying for those who wish to sleep peacefully. On some parts of Jakarta, the kids will literally use firecrackers especially in the first few days. Imagine being woken up by them at around 3-4AM? But we put up with it as part of the custom.
Yes, it’s all about tolerance…
I do respect my Muslim neighbors and friends and growing up we are taught to do so.
But this one tweet I saw today got me thinking
“Fasting is about self control, not blindly forcing other people to conform to your standards or preventing others from going about as usual.” – Aulia
If it’s correct then why do we let FPI (Islamic Defender Front) still untouched by the laws when they go on a raid to ‘clean-up’ entertainment places such as bars, pubs, etc? Oh wait, I forgot our very own Jakarta’s governor Fauzi Bowo and the police chief himself had acknowledge these hard line Muslim group by attending their anniversary, right?
These entertainment places by law suppose to be close during the whole month, not all of them but around 400 nightspots will be shut down.
We – the non-Muslim – Indonesians are asked to respect our Muslim brothers and sisters in their holy month and we would love to do that but I personally don’t think it’s wise to force this into our throats by putting such tight controls.
And won’t it be nice to get the same respect and tolerance back for the non-Muslim? If there is such thing as balance interfaith tolerance then maybe just maybe there won’t be anymore church goers being attacked by FPI like on last Sunday. Maybe the government wouldn’t put such a tight stronghold on issuing church building permit.
Hats off to our brilliant smart Minister of Information, who decided to banned porn sites starting this month. Not that I’m pro porn sites but really, this mommy thinks blocking such sites solely won’t improve the mentality of this country. Morality of this country needs to fixed no doubt about that, but will blocking some websites help? I seriously don’t think so.
I dream of a peaceful country where there will be no more torching, attacks, burning, whatever against one another…until then Have a blessed Ramadhan to all my Muslim friends.