SHARIAH LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND PANCASILA
This morning, November 2nd 2009, to my surprise I got a call from Kuala Lumpur. She asked me whether I am Fuad Amsyari from ‘FA-Center for Moslem Society Empowerment’. When I confirmed, she introduced herself from Al Jazeera and liked to discuss about Islam and shariah law with me. She said that it will be just a kind of ‘chatting’ by phone. I agreed and made an appointment sometime at the afternoon.
She called back and then we started the ‘chatting’. As I have to respond her correctly during the discussion, at first I clarified whether she is a Moslem, she said no. The conversation then went on in friendly tones. I enjoyed the dialog as it was related to Islamic principles that I am always interested in. This article is the basic substance related to Islamic shariah, human rights, Pancasila, Qonun of Crime in Aceh etc.
The Scope of Shariah
When she asked me about Moslem society in Indonesia and shariah, I told her that we have to divide the shariah into two dimension, i.e. related to individual-ritual-family matter and social-political aspect of life. Moslem in Indonesia mostly understand and follow the shariah related to the ritual-family way of life, as for shariah on social-political aspect it looks getting wider support gradually. Survey indicated such a trend although from the result of last Election for National Legislative Body showed that Islamic Party was far behind Secular one.
Shariah Law in Multicultural Society
She also asked my opinion whether shariah law is relevant in multicultural society. I told her that no nation in the world is one-cultural, or only in one single religious believe. The important thing is not the multicultural status of a nation but what is the most beneficial policies for the people. She also questioned if shariah law is implemented won’t it then be against the will of the minority? I responded by giving her examples on cases of Western Nations where the Moslem were minority. Don’t we think that the national policies adopted there against the will of the Moslem minority? So, if shariah laws by national process become adopted as national policies in Indonesia, the non-Moslem are supposed to follow the decision as well. We have to understand that majority of Indonesian people are Moslem, in contrast to majority of Western people that are non-Moslem. According to Moslem believe ‘shariah in all dimension of life’ must be obeyed to make the nation peaceful, progress, and prosperous.
Shariah and Pancasila
She then asked whether application of shariah in Indonesia National life was relevant to Pancasila. I explained to her that Pancasila is containing Five Basic Principles in which the first one is Believe in One Mighty God. It can only be interpreted that the way the nation is supposed to manage must not be contrary to what God’s Guidance. In Islamic relagion, One Mighty God has shariah or ‘operational guidance for people’ to obey, including principles on national management-development. Therefore the aplication of shariah in management of Indonesia is certainly NOT against Pancasila.
Shariah and Human Rights
‘Is Shariah not against human rights’ was another point she asked about. I told her that it depends on what we understand about human rights and shariah. She gave an example of ‘chopping head’ as something felt not in line to humanity. I said that ‘chopping head’ is not main point in shariah as the basic principle was the death penalty for the crime killer. In addition, I explained, hanging people was also once to be protested but slowly it was accepted as an acceptable penalty in secular society.
Qonun Shariah in Aceh
She asked what was my opinion on the acceptance of shariah as qonun (formal law) in Aceh. I answered that it would be a good case to exercise whether shariah can be implemented at regional area and beneficial to the people living at the region. I myself believe that the qonun will bring better life significantly to the people of Aceh.
Those were the substance of Islam and shariah raised from my conversation with my new friend from Kuala Lumpur. I invited her to visit my blog. She said ‘not yet’ when I asked whether she had read my book entitled: ‘New paradigm of National Development, ISLAMIC VISION TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD’. I asked her to send me her postal address and I am anxious to send her a copy of the book. I felt good to have beneficial ‘chatting’ with her. (Via Index please see: ‘Response to President Obama Speech at Cairo University’ and ‘Review on Islamic Vision to make a Better World’ in my blog)
Indonesia, November 2nd, 2009.