A few months back, a non-Indonesian friend asked me in the comment box why I hardly blog on Indonesia religio-political issues, to which question I replied that when I’m blogging, I’d like to write what I want; not what I have to. Besides, blogging a very serious topic is not in-vogue from “blog-marketing” point of view. And if he wanted to know my stand on certain “serious” issues, I ask him to to have a peek to my op-ed pieces written in bahasa Indonesia. Unfortunately, he’s not familiar with bahasa Indonesia.
I forgot then to tell him that in case he wants to know my stand-point in any religio-political and cultural issues, he could visit my friend Ali Nurdin’s blog.
Many of his writings are published in English newspapers like the Jakarta Post, the Strait Times of Singapore, etc. And I’m so glad, that he posts every piece published in any media into his blog. He also blogs specific commentary on the above-mentioned issues.
Ali Nurdin, like myself, is from a santri background “sub-culture” (Gus Dur’s term)which pre-dominantly belong to NU socio-religious tradition. A traditional Muslim without any Islamic political attachment. For us, religion is a sacred personal preferences to guide the inner soul into its destiny: peace of mind in good and bad times; to help the mindset to be persevere in time of desperation and to control the heart in time of joy. And for that to happen, a Muslim has to follow the obligation required as the normal consequences as the believer of Islam, like what Nurcholis Madjid said in Islam dan Peradaban (Islam and Civilization).
Thus, it should be separated from political affairs. As both are a paradox entity. That’s the basic principle of majority of Indonesian Muslims, including me.
There are a different view, however, in the country which call for the unity of religion and politic into one roof. There’re some the so-called Islamic parties whose campaign applied to that effect. For me, it is ok, so long they are using the proper means to further their goals; the political means. After all, that’s what democracy is all about. You supply “goods” to the market, and let the buyer pick them up.
And everytime you are interested in reading some commentaries on this issues, again, crawl the net and go to Ali Nurdin Blog. I hope, he’ll be more active in updating his blog to satisfy and enlighten everybody–especially non-Indonesian–who wants to know about some young-Indonesian Muslims intellectuals stand-points on religio-political matters.