The Relation Of Human Rights And Religion (A Study Case How Indonesia As A Country With The Largest Islamic Population In The World Maintaining Human Rights)
By ILA • October 12, 2021 • 21 min read
Human Rights is the right of the person who has existed since he was still in the womb. Human rights are the basic rights that every human being possesses because of his dignity as a human being and not given by society or country. Therefore, human rights cannot be declared not applicable by a country. Indonesia very maintaining human rights. Indonesia is very guarding human rights evidenced by the Human Rights Arrangement in the constitution of Republic Indonesia written in the legislation as the normative reference. Moreover, Indonesia is a country with the largest Islamic population in the world using Islamic influence for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. To discuss about it then this study case is divided into three-part. Part one is discussing the explanation of the historical background and reasons why Indonesia maintaining human rights to this day. The second part will be explained about the reality of Indonesia about maintaining human rights. Then it will be closed with the conclusion that Indonesia is maintaining human rights because as a democratic country but with a strong Islamic influence can use and practice in the real life to always keeping and upholding human rights as mentioned in the constitution also the source of Islamic religious teachings as the guidelines of Indonesian society majority. Although now Indonesia is not fully capable of doing that because it is still found some human rights violations, Indonesia will be able to show to the world that everyone at the same time as a creature of God and as citizens must know how important to maintain human rights for peace, harmony, and happiness live together in both the world and hereafter.
Keywords: Indonesia, Human Rights, Islam.
Human rights are the rights of every human being attached to every individual from birth. The idea of human rights arose in the plains of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries in reaction to the feudalism of nobility and the absolute and despotic power of kings against the people and the underclass. In reaction to the arbitrariness of the authority comes the idea of upholding human rights that every human being is equal. Since that, efforts to uphold human rights continue. The success of that endeavour by the issuance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 by the United Nations. (Ahmad Kosasih, 2003).
Religious freedom is one of the basic human rights that should be fulfilled by the government. But often in many countries, there are restrictions on its citizens to practice worship according to their beliefs. Often not only the restrictions acquired, but also discrimination and oppression. Those who normally experience these restrictions and oppression are people who follow religion outside of the majority religion in the place or country he lives. The majority of Indonesians embraced Islam by implementing their teachings with obedience it is not a strange thing if in Indonesia the people are able to implement human rights values in their lives that live together in harmony indifference. Because before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was issued, the idea of human rights was also found in the teachings of Islam. Islam as a majority religion in Indonesia teaches harmony between religious people because in the holy book of Islam, Qur’an mentions that “There is no compulsion to (enter) religion (Islam)” (al-Baqoroh verse 256). So, all religious people in Indonesia can live together in harmony and peace without compulsion.
Indonesia is the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, of the 205 million Indonesians it was reported that 88.1 per cent were Muslims (data from Pew forum’s forthcoming report, 2010). Although the majority of the population is Muslim, Indonesia is not an Islamic state based on Islamic laws. In fact, Indonesia is a secular democratic country but with a strong Islamic influence. This can be proved from the example that in Indonesia free in embracing religion without coercion. Because the state constitution guarantees Religious Freedom to all people. Such freedoms include religious broadcasting. These are all consequences to the human rights of the religious and religious Indonesian society. Religious freedom is a human right.
In Indonesia officially there are six religions, namely Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian. But Indonesia has the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika that means the Unity in Diversity country with a diversity of ethnic, religious, customary, cultural and linguistic differences (Pasurdi Suparlan, 2003), so that distinction makes it a force for unity. In this diversity is required tolerance for all Indonesian people. Tolerance is an attitude of mutual respect for groups or between individuals in society or other spheres. Tolerance is an act that prohibits discrimination even though there are many different groups or classes in society. Religious tolerance creates mutual respect for each other. Religious harmony in Indonesia is conducive to this day.
Historical Background and Reasons why Indonesia Maintaining Human Right to This Day
Based on the essence, “Human Rights” consisting of two basic most fundamental rights, it is the right of equality and the right of freedom. From these two basic rights then birth the other human rights, or without these two basic rights, the other human rights will be difficult to uphold. Indonesia has a guideline called Pancasila. Pancasila is the basic ideology for the state of Indonesia. The name consists of two words from the Sanskrit language: panch means five and sila mean principle (Kaelan. 1996). Pancasila is the formulation and guidance of national life and state for all Indonesian people, and human rights in Indonesia come from Pancasila. Because Pancasila contains several meanings related to human rights. There are:
- First principle: Supreme Godhead. That means all individuals have the right to religion without coercion.
- Second principle: A just and civilized humanity. That means all individuals have the right to be judged fairly and equitably.
- Third principle: Unity of Indonesia. That means all individuals have the right to unite.
- Fourth Principle: Democracy is led by wisdom in the deliberations of representation. That means all individuals have the right to express an opinion.
- Fifth principle: Social Justice for all Indonesians. That means all individuals have the right to be treated fairly regardless of degree (Besar, April 2016).
So it can be concluded that Pancasila as the view of national life and the foundation of Republic Indonesia has guaranteed the values that exist in Pancasila and they are in line with human rights. Therefore, our respect for human rights must be universal. We apply human rights by not ignoring the value of the Indonesian nation as a country that represents Islamic values. Because Indonesia is the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, so in Indonesia, the term of Human Rights is an inherent right in humans attached to him as a human being God or the basic rights that principle as god’s gift. Means Human Rights is a right that belongs to man according to its nature which can’t be separated from its essence, then human rights are noble and holy (Najid Jauhar, 2007).
The regulation of human rights in the constitution of the Republic of Indonesia is contained in the legislation as a normative reference in the promotion and protection of human rights. There is the basic human rights law in Indonesia:
- The right to equality in the law and government, Article 27 Paragraph 1
- Right to work and decent living, Article 27 Paragraph 2
- The right to associate and assemble, to issue thoughts with oral and written, Article 28
- The right to embrace and worship in accordance with the teachings of religion, Article 29 Paragraph 2
- The right in the defence of the state, Article 30
- Right of instruction, Article 31
- The right to enjoy and develop national and local cultures, Article 32
- Rights in the economy, Article 33
- The rights of the poor and neglected children are maintained by the state, Article 34 (Based on the 1945 Constitution of the State Republic Indonesia)
According to Islamic teachings, every human is a free being who has duties and responsibilities, therefore he has the right and freedom. Freedom is an important element in the teachings of Islam. Islam gives assurance to human freedom to avoid the pressure, whether related to the problem of religion, politics and ideology (Shohib, Oktober 2014). As a humanitarian religion, Islam puts man in a very noble position. Man is depicted in the Qur’an as the most perfect being and must be glorified. Learning from the view of this holy book, the protection of human rights in Islam is the demand of Islamic teachings that must be practised by every adherent. Being fair to people indiscriminately is the essence of the teachings of Islam. However, the granting of freedom to humans does not mean that they can exercise such freedom absolutely, but in that freedom is the rights and interests of others who must be respected as well. Because according to Islam, rights and obligations are two sides of the coin that are inseparable from one another. For example, even if Islam protects one’s right to property and wealth, it also commits to pay zakat which is one of its aims to protect the rights of the poor. That in Islam is mentioned that in the possessions owned by someone there are the rights of others (Maesaroh at e-Journal Islamuna, 2015). Thus, in Islam, the rights we have are not absolute but are always limited by the rights of others and dependent on the fulfilment of obligations by others.
Regarding respect for fellow human beings, in Islam, all national races have the same honour. The basis of the equation is a manifestation of human dignity. Human in the teachings of Islam is the descendant of Adam and all his offspring are glorified without exception. This statement is contained in the Qur’an letter al-Isra’ verse 70, which means: “And we have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and we give them their strengths with perfect advantages over most of the creatures we have created.” Besides also in the social field, Islam emphasizes the glory of man based on his social role. Human quality according to Islam is measured from the level of one’s usefulness for someone around him. In a hadith (the second source of Islamic teachings after al Qur’an) the Prophet said “The best Muslims are individuals who are able to make their brothers feel secure from (evil) hands and words” (ibid). So, Islam is clearly a religion of human rights.
The Qur’an as a source of Islamic law gives high respect for human rights. In the Qur’an, there are 80 verses about life, the maintenance of life and the provision of life’s means. One of the examples is “Therefore We decreed (a law) for the Children of Israel, that: He who kills a man, not because of that person (kill) another person, or not for making mischief in the earth, So it is as if He has killed all humanity. And whoever preserves the life of a man, it is as if He has preserved all human life.” (Qur’an letter al-Maidah verse 32). 150 verses about creation and creatures and about equality in creation. One of the examples is “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)” (Qur’an letter al-Hujurat verse 13). 320 verses of the Qur’an about the attitude of opposing injustice and 50 verses commanded to do justice. One of the examples is “Allah commanded you to be just and to do good” (Qur’an letter an-Nahl verse 90). Then there are 10 verses that talk about the prohibition of force to guarantee freedom of thought, belief and expressing aspirations (Shohib, Oktober 2014).
The principles of human rights became the goal of the Islamic Religion that had been formulated by Imam al-Ghazali and Abu Ishaq as-Syatibi. The principle is summarized in al-dlaruriat al-khamsah (five basic principles) or also called al huquq al insaniyah fi al Islam(human rights in Islam). This concept contains five basic principles that must be kept and respected by every individual, namely: First, Hifdzu al-Din (homage to freedom of religion); Secondly, Hifdzu al-Mal (respect for the property); Thirdly, Hifdzu al-Nafs wa al-‘Ird (respect for the soul, the right to life and the honour of the individual); Fourthly, Hifdzu al-‘Aql (respect for freedom of thought) and; Fifth, Hifdzu al-Nasl (the necessity to keep a descendant) (Ahmad al-Mursi Husain Jauhar, 2009). In Indonesia, society is upholding and maintaining human rights to this day because in Islam religion as their majority religion has been taught about it.
The Reality of Indonesia about Maintaining Human Rights
In Indonesia, there are six religions, namely Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian. Religious harmony in Indonesia is conducive to this day. They can live together in peace and can uphold the values of tolerance in society. In Mart 2017, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud visited Indonesia and appreciated the harmony of inter-religious people in Indonesia. It was said by King Salman in a gathering with 28 interfaith leaders in the homeland in the meeting room at Raffles Hotel, Kuningan, South Jakarta, Friday (3/3/2017) afternoon. “Indonesia’s stability is the fruit of tolerance spirit and coexistence among all layers of the Indonesian population,” said King Salman as quoted from the official press release of the Palace (Based on news released by electronic media in Kompas.com, Mart 2017).
Many efforts were made by the Indonesian government to provide and support to the Indonesian society for always maintain harmony among religious people as a form to maintain the values of human rights. One example is the “Harmony Award” which is an award from the Ministry of Religion Republic Indonesia for local governments that are considered to have support and have the work related to the service for all religions as well as to maintain harmony among religious believers in each region. This award was achieved after the Ministry of Religious Affairs conducted a survey of the regions in Indonesia. From the survey, an index of religious harmony was drawn up until a district was chosen as the recipient of the award (Based on news released by www.beritasatu.com, February 2017)
But in another fact, Indonesia has not yet improved its policies on the promotion and protection of human rights, despite the evaluations in 2008 and 2012 of the United Nations-sponsored Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a coalition of civil society groups has said. UPR said Indonesia agreed to receive 150 of the 180 recommendations issued by the UPR in 2012 that highlighted major human rights violations in the country and provide ways to address the problems. “The government has not held a formal, open and participatory mechanism to follow up on the recommendations. We see the government has not executed most of the recommendations,” the coalition said in a statement sent from Geneva, Switzerland. Among the issues highlighted in the 2012 recommendations were 20 regarding freedom of religion. The UPR said mob violence involving hard-line Islamic groups was still rampant in that country. (Based on news released by electronic media in The Jakarta Post, January 2016).
According to the author is required to give serious attention to this situation. Because the subjects or persons of the human rights violation is a small group of Indonesian society called Islam Defenders Front (FPI). This means in a community there may be a group of violators. Nahdlatul Ulama (Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization followed by 143 million people of Muslim Indonesia) urged the government to dissolve FPI group. “Their behaviour does not reflect the teachings of Islam,” Said Aqil Siradj, leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (VOA Indonesia, July 2016). So, it can be concluded that the human rights enforcement in Indonesia has not been fully done by all levels of society, for example, FPI group. Moreover from the results of the collection of national databases documented by the Coordinator of the Coalition for Justice and Disclosure of Truth Indonesia for one year and six months and released in 2014, that during 40 years of the period 1965 – 2005 the number of human rights violations cases reached 1300 cases. These cases tell the logic of the regime that raises the pattern of continuous, repeated violation. From the analysis of collected data, there are six recurring patterns. The six patterns of human rights violation cases are eradication; violence in the seizure of natural resources; uniformity and control; interpersonal violence; violence against women and legal deadlock (Statement from the Coordinator of the Coalition for Justice and Disclosure of Truth Indonesia, Kamala Chandrakirana).
Human rights violations in Indonesia have been regulated in Indonesian Law No. 39, 1999 which states that: “Human rights violations constitute all acts committed by a person or group of persons including state apparatuses either intentional or unintentional that may reduce, limit, eliminate or revoke the human rights of others protected by law and must obtain a correct and fair legal settlement in accordance with an applicable legal mechanism”. Human rights violations are divided into two:
- Mild human rights violations are human rights violations that do not threaten the human soul. For example, a student is beaten by his teacher at school just because he is wrong on the exam (Based on news released by Merdeka.com, 4 September 2012)
- Serious human rights violations are human rights violations that threaten human life. For example the case of the murder of Udin journalist from the Bernas daily in 1996. Journalist Udin (Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin) is a journalist from the Bernas daily allegedly kidnapped, tortured by an unknown person and eventually found dead. (Source: http://www.jatikom.com/2017/01/18-example-collection-ham-di.html).
- Establishment of legal products regulating human rights (human rights) intended to ensure legal certainty in the process of enforcing human rights. In addition, these legal products provide direction for the implementation of the human rights enforcement process. The 1945 Constitution of the State Republic Indonesia, particularly Article 28 Paragraph (4) states that “The protection, promotion, enforcement, and fulfilment of human rights are the responsibility of the State, especially the government”. In order to elaborate the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, a human rights protection institution such as KOMNAS HAM, National Commission on Violence Against Women, Human Rights Court and other human rights protection institutions were established (Hanna Anderson, 2016). National Human Rights Commission or called KOMNAS HAM is an independent institution of Republic Indonesia that has a position equal to other state institutions that has a function to conduct research, counselling, monitoring, and mediation of human rights. KOMNAS HAM was established by Presidential Decree No. 50, 1993. This commission has aimed to develop conducive conditions for the implementation of human rights in accordance with Pancasila and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to improving the protection and enforcement of human rights for their development and the ability to participate in various areas of their life (komnasham.go.id). It is necessary to take decisive action from the state security apparatus to dissolve the organizations that damage the human rights in Indonesia and order to remain in harmony with the rules of the State and the government of Indonesia that upholds human rights.
- The state has great authority in disciplining religious organizations by closely monitoring the movement of Islamic organizations in Indonesia. Because not to disfigure the name of the Islam religion due to actions that are provocative and disturbing a society that is not in accordance with the teachings of Islam and human rights. By legalizing all religious organizations in Indonesia the whole religious organization must pass through the control and supervision of the country after that it can run its program in the community and society.
- We must spread the voice of how important human rights are in our life. Spread awareness of the importance of knowing and protecting human rights. That we have the right to life, the right to expression, the right to legal security, the right to education, the right to security, the right to freedom of religion, etc. So, human rights enforcement in Indonesia will be fully done by all levels of society.
Human rights are the rights of every human being attached to every individual from birth. Human rights are the basic rights that every human being possesses because of his dignity as a human being and not given by society or country. Therefore, human rights cannot be declared not applicable by a country. So, Indonesia very maintaining human rights. Moreover, human rights are also contained in Islamic religious teachings. Islam upholds human rights because regarding respect for fellow human beings, in Islam, all national races have the same honour. The basis of the equation is a manifestation of human dignity. Human in the teachings of Islam is the descendant of Adam and all his offspring are glorified without exception. Indonesia as a country with the largest Muslim population in the world should be the leading country in upholding and promoting human rights. Many efforts made by the Indonesian government to provide and support to the Indonesian society for always maintain harmony among religious people as a form to maintain the values of human rights also support for the other rights as evidenced by the establishment of human rights protection institutions such as KOMNAS HAM, National Commission on Violence Against Women, Human Rights Court and other human rights protection institutions was established. Although now Indonesia is not fully capable of doing that because it is still found some human rights violations like mob violence involving hard-line Islamic groups was still rampant in this country and from the results of the collection of national databases documented by Coordinator of the Coalition for Justice and Disclosure of Truth Indonesia for one year and six months and released in 2014, that during 40 years of the period 1965 – 2005 the number of human rights violations cases reached 1300 cases, but with the foundation of Pancasila which described above also the constitution of Republic Indonesia is contained in the legislation as a normative reference in the promotion and protection of human rights the influence of strong Islamic teachings, Indonesia will be able to show to the world that everyone at the same time as a creature of God and as a citizens must know how important to maintain human rights for peace, harmony, and happiness live together in both the world and hereafter.
According to data from Pew forum’s forthcoming report on the world’s Muslim population, available at http://www.pewforum.org/2010/11/04/muslim-population-of-indonesia/
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Based on news released by Merdeka.com, 4 September 2012.
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