Friday, August 28, 2009

Akankah terulang?

Baru-baru ini saya baca beberapa artikel di Majalah Tempo mengenai Tommy Suharto. Selesai baca artikel-artikel tersebut langsung rasanya saya ingin menulis di blog ini, karena betapa memalukannya berita yang saya baca.

Kemenangan Tommy di pengadilan Guernsey serta beberapa kasus lainnya dan pencalonan dirinya sebagai calon ketua golkar bagi saya merupakan gambaran semua hal yang menggerogoti tatanan kebangsaan kita. Yaitu : Korupsi, Politik Mafia, Kronisme, dan Penguasa yang sewenang-wenang.

Bagaimana tidak, pemerintah telah sanggup menjebloskan yang bersangkutan ke bui melalui berbagai tuntutan korupsi dan tindak pidana lainnya. Lalu sekarang dia bebas cepat dan satu persatu kembali merekonstruksi imperialsme yang ia dan kroni-kroni suharto lainnya yang mereka bangun dengan jerih payah rakyat kita. Bagaimana bisa pemerintah kita, yang notabene nya memiliki akses hukum luarbiasa, bisa kalah dari seorang narapidana di pengadilan perdata di Inggris? Tanyalah kemana uang-uang yang akan dicairkan itu akan tertuju.

Setelah bebas, uang kembali, lantas mencalonkan diri menjadi Ketua Partai Golkar. Tentunya sebagai warga yang menjunjung tinggi asas demokrasi kita harus menghormati siapa pun yang ingin mencalonkan diri di panggung politik. Tapi ingat, kita yang memilih, dan menentukan masa depan bangsa, jadi haruslah senantiasa cermat dalam menentukan pilihan. Saya kutip dari Tempo, ketika ditanya mengapa mencalonkan diri menjadi ketua golkar, Tommy menjawab, "Sekarang adalah saat yang tepat bagi saya untuk kembali ke politik, selain bisins." Garis bawahi dua kata kunci dari kalimat tersebut : Saat yang tepat dan bisnis. "Saat yang tepat" adalah jawaban para oportunis, yang memanfaatkan kondisi yang ada untuk meraih kekuasaan. Seorang negarawan tulen tak memerlukan saat yang tepat untuk senantiasa memecahkan problema-problema bangsa. Tambahkan elemen bisnis kedalamnya, maka jadilah hibrida oportunisme politik dan bisnis bak sepuluh tahun terakhir pemerintahan Soeharto.

Bangsa kita sudah saatnya cermat dalam menentukan pilihan. Bukanlah lambang, nama keluarga, militer atau bukan, atau bahkan kaos gratis dan amplop yang menjadi penentu masa depan bangsa. Kita butuh pemimpin yang punya misi jelas, memiliki kapabilitas, dan memiliki sumbangsih dalam memajukan bangsa.

Mudah-mudahan bangsa kita berfikir panjang dan tak bermemori pendek. Amin.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Rise of Indonesian (elitist) Nationalism.

I’ve never felt a stronger surge of nationalism in Indonesia in my whole lifetime as it is right now. Nationalist movement has however been around ever since the establishment of this Republic. But how is it now? Is it good, or bad, or just a trend that exist temporarily and fades? Also it is for me personally interesting to analyze this nationalism thing; having spent my time in the US and Germany –both has very different interpretation of nationalism. As in for Germany let’s just leave the word nationalism as it might mislead people to think that you are a right-extremist.

So I saw two Indonesian movies during my two and half week time at home this summer, Merantau, an action movie that involves Indonesian traditional martial art called Silat, and Merah Putih, a movie about the struggle against the Dutch aggressors. Add in Garuda Di Dadaku that makes three big nationalist themed movies. Moreover, the bombings in J.W Marriott and Ritz Carlton have surprisingly seemed to strengthen the feeling of unity as a nation, more than just a mere condemnation of the act. Following the bombings, the Indonesia Unite movement that originally started in Twitter spread quickly, online and offline. The #Indonesiaunite hashtag has became one of the most famous one in Twitter (perhaps due to the sheer number of our gigantic population that is on Twiter). People are now wearing t-shirts that has prints saying I Love Indonesia or “Kami Tidak Takut” (we are not afraid). Suddenly, wearing symbols of Garuda or just some forms of our flag is cool. One should also take into account the ever-rising sentiment against Malaysia. People back home are furious to Malaysia’s claim of Indonesian culture such as Batik, some of our folk songs, and very recently the Balinese ‘Pendet’ dance. This has results in more awareness towards our culture. The cool kids or Jakarta are wearing Batik in more occasions now, and learning traditional dances in high schools are in.

Now what is so different this time? People occasionally get nationalistic or patriotic at times like independence day or election times. But never has it been in my time that wearing or talking about Indonesia is cool. Amidst the globalization and influx of western culture, the so-called ‘cool kids’ - middle and upper class young Indonesians – are avid consumer of whatever west. Now suddenly they are wearing batiks, talking about the hunt of the terrorists, and tweet each other about things related to their country.

In a book written by the vice-president elect Boediono that I read recently, nation-building is a key to social cohesion, which could help economic development. Furthermore, and related to it, the elitist apparently plays a big role in leading the path of our newly born democracy. These kids who are well educated in our scarce elite institutions should start thinking where this nation is going. Economically speaking, the two percent of Indonesians that own more than half of the assets in Indonesia do play an inevitably big role in deciding our economic growth. If they are more conscious about all the problems that rotted our country, I believe more substantial changes could be done in the future (when this cool kids actually inherited all the powers from their parents). So I think we should really capitalize this national excitement and somehow translate it into a more concrete effort in saving our nation.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Flight Home

This is actually part of my-email that i sent to Anya, but i'll share them anyway bcos it's pretty interesting :

So my trip home was interesting. I got to the Frankfurt airport with an ample amount of time to counter all the problems i usually encounter in airport, but i had not expected that my luggage was so overweight that there was no way they could check it in. So i had to reduce it by 8kg which means that basically throwing my stuff to the garbage. Short story i threw one jeans (my black one that has stitches on it), some shirts (tshirts,polo shirts), my eskrima weapon (this should not get on the plane in the first place), FOUR pair of shoes (soccer shoes, dress shoes, white canvas shoes, and snickers), praying mat (i had never used them), H&M blazer (i bought in on sale for 15euro so its not that bad). I put everything in my black duffel bag (which i threw away as well). Apparently things in black bag on a garbage can in airport look like a bomb, so i had to wegschmeissen things one by one with policemen watching me putting those things inside the garbage can. Then I also could not bring my cabin bag bcos its too heavy so they check it in for free. My mistake as we will find later was putting all my nice and expensive clothes + my hard drive in that cabin bag. So my flight to Abu Dhabi was ok. My flight to Jakarta was terrible. The flight was filled with domestic workers from Indonesia that are working in UAE or other arabic countries, which i wasnt really complaining - i had been wanting to see normal indonesians and get to know them. But then I got the last seat in the plane, next to two bathrooms, with like 5cm legroom, and these guys are just coming in and out of the bathroom - and puking there, disgusting. So i survived my flight home, my dad abholen me right from the airplane so i did not, as usual, go through the immigration. Then on the baggage claim i waited for like an hour for my luggage and found out that i lost my small cabin baggage. SHIT.
So there we go, i only have ONE pair of shoes with me, one jeans, one short pants, one dress shirt, and bunch of tshirts and dirty underwears.
Fortunately i got to keep Fritz and the mass glass (which weigh 2kg itself) that we got in Weltenburg.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stereotype & Prejudice

"Erwin, hast du schon mal gehört, die Leute in Europa wollen kein Babys und nun gibt es mehr und mehr Muslim Leute! Das ist scheisse!"

Translated to English it would be something like, "Erwin, have you heard that here in Europe people don't like to have children and now there are more and more Muslim? Oh shit!" I was washing my dishes and have for more than five minutes overheard what my house-mate here in Regensburg listening to in her room that was opened (i think it was something like church propaganda called 'call for action' or something), before she came outside and panick.

I said to her I know that is true that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but what is so 'scheisse'? She then explain that it is really bad if Europe will be run by the Muslim, which according to her always fight on the street and shout at their wives, and that European people should do something about it. She further added that Muslim people always do violence, blowing up buildings and kill other people. Then I asked her, if she's ever seen any muslim doing violence. She said she's never seen it, but that's what she always see about muslim in television.
I then assured her that I have never killed anyone and never have I ever have a plan to bomb buildings. So I hope she won't be scared of me, at least.

I then tried with the basic it's-only-stereotype explanation. But she seemed to be so clueless about the concept of steretotype. She also said that she is always scared whenever she sees people with burka or with beard, fearing that they would to terrible things, and she also thinks that the poverty in Africa are caused by muslim people (i did tried to convince her that there are different nations in Africa and they have different beliefs, also christians, and that Islam is not an absolute majority there). I then tried a more personal approach. I tried to explain that I am myself also a muslim believer (well maybe not a good one as she sees me drinking beer many times), and that I come from a country who has an overwhelingly large muslim population, and that there women are treated equal as man, and we even once had a woman president. Yet we have the biggest muslim population in the world. I then elaborate more what I meant by stereotype. I said to her that what she sees in TV does not represent Islam. I said to her it is 'scheisse' that those terrorist conduct violence under the name of Islam. We, muslims, are the people of peace. Nowhere in our religion condone violence to women, children, and innocent people. I shared to her about the bom that exploded in Jakarta few days ago. I said that they killed and hurt mainly muslim Indonesians, that has never done anything wrong to them. So there is no way whatever they belief in is the Islam what me, and most of 1.3 Billion others believe in.

She was nodding and giving signs that she was starting to understand this concept of sterotype and prejudice. I said to her that I acknowledge that it is not easy to fight stereotype that is echoed by the media. I too, most of the time feel scared with bearded men with turban, especially when I am sitting in an airplane next to one of them. So scared that I pray to God (the same one that those guys believe in i think), despite my pray-less days and all the sins i've been doing, hoping that they wont crash the plane to building or something. I further explain that stereotype against western people also exist in where I live. Some people still think that Germans are nazis and they hate foreigners and they drink beers allday. But that is NOT what I found here. I said to her that only with fighting stereotype and prejudice we can we end all these conflicts, as most of them rooted from misunderstanding towards each other.

So what I was concern was, if an educated university student like her could have such strong misconception, stereotype, and prejudice towards other, what would it be like for those people here in European countries who hasn't got enough education and whose jobs are lost amidst this economic crisis, and those conservative muslim back home in Indonesia, that all they see in TV is only the trashy and crappy part of american culture.

Stereotype and prejudice are, my friends, our enemies of today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

International Symposium 2009 PART I

International Symposium 2009
Vision and Mission of Indonesian Intellectuals Abroad : Development Strategy of Indonesia towards 2020 Goal

That was how this symposium was called. The somewhat grandiose title of this symposium seemed to be promising some sort of significant changes or breakthroughs for our nation. Now how did it really go? Here are my personal accounts on the symposium.

I, honestly, have never participated in any of the International Indonesian Students Association (PPI) activities. Not that I wasn't willing to, but simply because we don't have one in the place where I study. However, I actively involved in my University's Indonesian students community, and have together with Indonesians students in Yale University and Cornell University initiated a discussion group, in which we meet bi-annually and take turns to present papers on some particular topics. Anyway, I just heard about this International Symposium two days before I went there and swiftly decided to participate. Without any pre-arranged transportation, I hitchiked a car to Amsterdam then took a train to The Hague.

The first speaker, Prof. Fasli Jalal (Indonesian Higher Education Department Executive), had already been talking about varieties of Indonesian students achievement abroad when I arrived at the auditorium of Museon Building The Hague. In his lecture, he mentioned students abroad who won the international robot competition and researchers who founded new species of flowers. From his keynote remarks it is implied that Indonesians are capable of being the pioneers in all areas of sciences. I found that his remark was rather entertaining – it was really fun to see what sort of rocket science inventions Indonesian students have achieved. However, I was rather concerned on how only those rocket science findings were highlighted. We have the tendency of only appreciating high-end achievement or by the number of degree that one hold. This would further make education as an exclusive matter. We should start caring about how to make good education as something that everyone should enjoy.

The second noteworthy remark were delivered by Mr. Anis Baswedan, the rector of Paramadina University who is also the youngest rector in Indonesia so far. Two other professors also joined him in this session about democracy in Indonesia. He eloquently identifies the problems that hindered our development. He thinks that we should now start to pay more attention to the so-called ‘architecture’ of Indonesian politics. In the basics of his political architecture, he divided the whole political scene as ‘input’, ‘process’, and ‘output’. Reformation era in Indonesia has liberalized the input for politics, but then the output comes out dissatisfying due to the lack of emphasize in processing the input. Institutions should reform themselves, to make them more effective to handle the input of democracy. Media should also play a constructive way to resonance the voices of the people. On the discussion session, I asked Mr. Baswedan what he things about the political parties in Indonesia and their programs. To me, so far political parties seemed to function more as self-identification. People mainly vote for party, which they feel they associate the most as a person. All parties that compete in the election varied widely corresponding to the diversity of Indonesian society, but I could barely tell the difference in their policy, let alone the platform in which they stood for. Mr Baswedan responded that we have not yet come to the phase where the parties could translate what they are fighting for in concrete policies stance.

Other activities during that day include: super-delicious Indonesian lunch (but unfortunately led to long late night toilet queue), and some afternoon talks that I didn’t find particularly interesting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pemilu 2009 : PKS

Artikel ini beberapa waktu lalu di post sama salah satu temen gw di Wesleyan di milis Indonesianist (milis pelajar Indonesia/pemerhati Indonesia di US). Cukup menarik untuk di bahas, konteks nya cukup luas; bukan hanya masalah partai islam di Indonesia, tapi juga masalah pemerintahan, hukum, dan konstitusi di Indonesia.

Mengapa Takut pada PKS?
Jika ada kelompok yang takut atau memusuhi Partai Islam, maka perlu diselidiki apakah mereka memiliki komitmen yang sama untuk membasmi korupsi, kemiskinan dan pengangguran? Membatasi, apalagi mengisolasi Partai Islam, hanya akan menambah panjang persoalan yang berkecamuk di negeri mayoritas Muslim seperti Indonesia.

Sebuah acara talk show di stasiun televisi berlangsung seru pasca Pemilu yang baru berlalu di Indonesia. Para pembicara berasal dari partai-partai besar peraih suara terbanyak: Anas Urbaningrum dari Partai Demokrat yang tampil sebagai pemenang pemilu, Sumarsono (Sekretaris Jenderal Partai Golongan Karya yang sempat shock karena tergeser ke ranking kedua), dan Tjahjo Kumolo (Ketua Fraksi PDI Perjuangan yang menempuh jalan oposisi). Narasumber keempat adalah seorang anak muda, doktor bidang teknik industry lulusan Graduate School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Mohammad Sohibul Iman, dari Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS).
Usai debat panas, Kumolo mendekati Iman dan berbisik: “Mas, bagaimana sikap teman-teman PKS terhadap PDIP? Posisi Hidayat Nur Wahid cukup berpengaruh di kalangan PDIP, dia menempati ranking kedua untuk mendampingi Ibu Mega.” Perbincangan intim itu tak pernah dilansir media manapun, meski publik mencatat Hidayat pernah diundang khusus dalam acara rapat kerja yang dihadiri pengurus dan kader PDIP se-Indonesia. Dua pekan setelah Pemilu, DPD PDIP Sulawesi Utara, yang berpenduduk mayoritas non-Muslim masih mengusulkan lima calon wakil presiden yang layak mendampingi Mega, yakni Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono, Prabowo Subianto, Akbar Tanjung, Hidayat Nur Wahid dan Surya Paloh (Republika, 21/4). Itu bukti kedekatan partai nasionalis sekuler dengan Islam, lalu mengapa selepas pemilu yang aman dan lancar, tersebar rumor sistematik bahwa partai Islam radikal (PKS) menjadi ancaman keutuhan nasional Indonesia?
Partai Demokrat dan PKS sekali lagi membuat kejutan. Dalam Pemilu 2004, partai pimpinan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono sebagai Ketua Dewan Pembina itu, hanya menempati urutan kelima dengan perolehan suara 7,5%. Sekarang mereka menempati tempat teratas dengan raihan suara lebih dari 20,6% menurut perhitungan suara sementara. Sementara PKS yang menempati ranking keenam pada Pemilu 2004 dengan suara 7,3% memang tak bertambah secara drastis, diperkirakan hanya meraih 8,2% suara, menurut tabulasi sementara Komisi Pemilihan Umum. Tapi, PKS dengan posisi keempat dalam pentas nasional menjadi Partai Islam terbesar di Indonesia. Inilah yang menjadi sumber kontroversi bagi sebagian pengamat Barat.
Bila kemenangan Partai Demokrat disambut meriah oleh media Barat, sehingga majalah Time berencana untuk memasukkan sosok SBY sebagai satu di antara 100 tokoh berpengaruh di dunia, maka kemunculan PKS dinilai negatif oleh penulis semisal Sadanand Dhume. Dalam Wall Street Journal Asia (15/4), Dhume menyatakan: “The most dramatic example of political Islam’s diminished appeal is the tepid performance of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Indonesia’s version of the Muslim Brotherhood. PKS seeks to order society and the state according to the medieval precepts enshrined in shariah law.” Pandangan serupa diungkapkan Sara Webb dan Sunanda Creagh yang mengutip kekhawatiran pengusaha keturunan Cina, Sofjan Wanandi dan pengamat beraliran Muslim liberal, Muhammad Guntur Romli (Reuters, 26/4).
Wanandi, pengusaha sekaligus pendiri Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), berkata terus terang: “The possibility that SBY will join with PKS makes us nervous. There is a lot of uncertainity around this. We don’t know if we can believe them.” Sedangkan, Romli menegaskan: “PKS have a conservative ideology but are portraying themselves as open and moderate because they are also pragmatic.” Kesangsian Wanandi dan Romli justru menimbulkan pertanyaan, karena mereka mungkin sudah membaca Falsafah Dasar Perjuangan dan Platform Kebijakan Pembangunan yang dikeluarkan PKS setahun sebelum penyelenggaraan pemilu. Buku setebal 650 halaman itu menjelaskan segala langkah yang sudah, sedang dan akan dilakukan PKS untuk mewujudkan masyarakat madani yang maju dan sejahtera di Indonesia. Tak ada sedikitpun disebut ide Negara teokratis atau diskriminasi terhadap kaum minoritas.
Menteri Keuangan Sri Mulyani menyediakan waktu khusus untuk menyimak platform PKS setebal 4,5 centimeter itu dan berkomentar, “Isinya cukup komprehensif seperti Garis-garis Besar Haluan Negara atau Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Panjang yang disusun pemerintah meliputi seluruh aspek kehidupan Negara modern.” Prof. Jimly Ashiddiqie, mantan Ketua Mahkamah Konstitusi, menilai inisiatif PKS merupakan tradisi baru dalam dunia politik agar setiap partai menjelaskan agendanya ke hadapan publik secara transparan dan bertanggung-jawab. Sementara Prof. Azyumardi Azra, mantan Rektor Universitas Islam Negeri, memberikan apresiasi khusus karena PKS berani melakukan obyektivikasi terhadap nilai-nilai Islam dalam konteks masyarakat Indonesia kontemporer. Siapa yang harus kita percaya saat ini, pengusaha dan pengamat yang gelisah karena kepentingan pribadinya mungkin terhambat atau menteri dan pakar yang menginginkan perbaikan dalam kualitas pemerintahan di masa datang?
Kehadiran partai Islam memang kerap memancing perhatian, tak hanya di Indonesia. Partai Keadilan dan Pembangunan (AKP) di Turki yang secara harfiyah menyebut diri berideologi sekuler ternyata masih dicap sebagai kelanjutan dari partai fundamentalis Islam. Gerakan Hamas yang secara patriotik membuktikan diri berjuang sepenuhnya untuk kemerdekaaan nasional Palestina disalahpersepsikan sebagai ancaman perdamaian dunia. Perhatian publik semakin kritis setelah partai Islam berhasil memenangkan pemilu yang demokratis, dan berpeluang menjalankan pemerintahan. Stereotipe buruk kemudian disebarkan untuk menggambarkan partai Islam seperti virus flu yang berbahaya, dengan merujuk pengalaman di Aljazair, Sudan atau Pakistan.
Tapi, semua insinuasi itu tak berlaku di Indonesia karena partai Islam dan organisasi sosial-politik Islam yang lebih luas telah berurat-akar dalam sejarah dan memberi kontribusi kongkrit dalam kehidupan masyarakat Indonesia. Hanya orang bodoh yang tak tahu bahwa: organisasi modern yang pertama lahir di Indonesia adalah Serikat Dagang Islam (1905), partai politik yang pertama berdiri dan bersikap nonkooperasi terhadap penjajah Belanda adalah Syarikat Islam (1911), organisasi pemuda yang mendorong pertemuan lintas etnik dan daerah ialah Jong Islamienten Bond hingga terselenggaranya Sumpah Pemuda (1928), mayoritas perumus konstitusi dan proklamasi kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia (1945) adalah tokoh Islam, dan penyelamat Negara kesatuan Indonesia dari ancaman komunisme (1966) adalah organisasi pemuda dan mahasiswa Muslim nasionalis. Kekuatan Islam juga sangat berperan dalam mengusung gerakan reformasi di tahun 1998, tanpa meremehkan peran kelompok
agama/ideologi lain.
Tak ada yang perlu ditakuti dari kiprah Partai Islam di masa lalu dan masa akan datang, termasuk dalam membentuk pemerintahan baru di Indonesia. Partai Islam memiliki agenda yang jelas untuk memberantas korupsi melalui reformasi birokrasi, meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat dengan menekan angka kemiskinan dan pengangguran, sehingga semangat “jihad” yang sering disalahtafsirkan itu, dalam konteks Indonesia modern bisa bermakna: perang melawan korupsi, kemiskinan dan pengangguran. Jika ada kelompok yang takut atau memusuhi Partai Islam, maka perlu diselidiki apakah mereka memiliki komitmen yang sama untuk membasmi korupsi, kemiskinan dan pengangguran? Membatasi, apalagi mengisolasi Partai Islam, hanya akan menambah panjang persoalan yang berkecamuk di negeri mayoritas Muslim seperti Indonesia.
Partai Islam tak hanya mampu meraih dukungan yang cukup luas dalam pemilu, bahkan tokoh-tokohnya yang berusia relatif muda mulai mendapat kepercayaan pemilih. Exit poll yang digelar Lembaga Pengkajian, Pendidikan dan Penerangan Ekonomi dan Sosial (LP3ES) pada tanggal 9 April menunjukkan bahwa pasangan Yudhoyono-Hidayat meraih suara 20,8 persen, mengungguli Yudhoyono-Jusuf Kalla yang meraih 16,3 persen, dan Yudhoyono-Akbar Tandjung yang hanya memperoleh 5,4 persen dukungan responden. Jika fakta elektabilitas yang tinggi ini masih diingkari, maka kecurigaan terhadap Partai Islam sungguh tak berdasar dan melawan kehendak rakyat yang menjadi inti demokrasi.

*) Center for Indonesian Reform (CIR), Gedung PP Plaza Lantai 3, Jalan TB Simatupang No. 57, Jakarta Timur Email:

Pendapat gw di milis itu :
Halo rekan-rekan Indonesianist,

Saya hanya ingin komentar singkat saja. Ini posting pertama saya di milis ini, sebenarnya agak ragu juga untuk berkomentar tentang posting dari Jourdan, karena sebenarnya masalah ini menarik dan luas cakupannya tapi sayang kok ketika saya baca komentar-komentar berikutnya malah jadi perdebatan antara agama Islam dan Kristen.

Andaikan kita telaah secara global, topik pembicaraan mengenai partai PKS sesungguhnya bukan hanya menyangkut itu sebuah partai Islam atau tidak, atau itu masalah hukum syariah islam atau hukum agama lainnya. Namun persoalannya apakah kita - bangsa Indonesia yang majemuk - sepatutnya menyangkut pautkan agama dalam urusan politik. Banyak yang berpersepsi bahwa Indonesia adalah negara yang sekuler. Saya separuhnya setuju dengan pendapat ini. Mengapa hanya separuh? Menurut saya Indonesia boleh dibilang negara Pseudo-Sekular. Di beberapa pasal konstitusi mencerminkan sekularisme republik ini, seperti "Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia." Namun di pasal lain, "Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa", mencerminkan dominasi agama monoteis. Pseudo-sekularisme di Indonesia pun tercermin dalam beberapa hal lain, misalnya hanya lima agama yang diakui di Indonesia secara resmi, dan keharusan warga negara untuk mencantumkan agamanya di KTP. Bagaimana dengan warga Indonesia dengan agama yang tidak diakui secara resmi? Bagaimana dengan warga negara Indonesia yang tidak mempunyai pandanga agama, atheis atau agnostik misalnya? Apakah mereka mendapat keadilan sosial yang sama dengan warga negara lainnya?

Masalah ruang lingkup agama dan politik membuat saya tertarik setelah mengamati kawan-kawan pelajar saya di Amerika. Latar belakang pendidikan Islam saya membuat saya semakin tertarik dengan masalah ini. Satu hal yang saya amati dari pelajar di Amerika adalah agama merupakan aspek personal dari diri mereka. Saya malah menemukan kawan" muslim saya di Amerika sebagai satu dari beberapa Muslim ter-taat yang saya pernah temui. Agama lebih merupakan aspek spiritual; walau tentunya banyak aspek sosial tertanam di dalamnya. Oleh karena itu, saya lebih waswas untuk mencampurkan agama dengan politik, apalagi di dalam kondisi masyarakat Indonesia yang majemuk (mayoritas Islam nya saja sendiri pun majemuk), jikalau kita ingin mengedepankan keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia. Implikasi sekularisme pun jika dibahas secara mendetail tentunya sangat panjang karena mencakup berbagai dimensi; misalkan pendidikan (seperti pengajaran agama di sekolah, atau teori penciptaan alam semesta), atau masalah sosial (aborsi, pendidikan sex). Namun satu hal yang penting adalah dengan tidak mencampurkan agama manapun dalam poltik, kita dapat lebih mudah mencapai tujuan kesejahteraan bersama dengan mengedepankan kebijakan-kebijakan yang rasional yang dapat di aplikasikan ke seluruh lapisan masyarakat.

Lalu mengapa takut pada PKS? Jujur, kalau pemilu kemarin saya bisa ikutan memilih (baca : korban birokrasi), mungkin PKS jadi salah satu partai yang saya pertimbangkan untuk dipilih. Visinya jelas, transparan, dan paling menjanjikan untuk memberantas korupsi yang notabene borok terparah Indonesia. Namun sayangnya Indonesia bukanlah negara Islam. Dan tidak 100% warga Indonesia beragama Islam. Banyak dari hukum syariah yang sangat relevan untuk di terapkan dalam zaman modern ini (misalkan perbankan syariah yang lebih aman dari Kapitalisme Bebas yang rentan akan krisis), dan saya setuju" saja jika ada elemen syariah yang bisa diterapkan ke seluruh bangsa Indonesia, namun dengan catatan harus tidak membawa nama satu agama atau mendiskreditkan kaum minoritas. Jikalau PKS bisa memisahkan antara elemen agama dan kebijakan politik, boleh lah pemilu berikutnya saya coblos.

Sedikit tentang pandangan Barat tentang Islam dan Partai Islam, haruslah kita bisa membedakan antara kebijakan pemerintah (misalkan pemerintah Amerika Serikat) dan pandangan masyarakatnya. Dengan menggunakan kata "Barat" untuk menggambarkan intimidasi terhadap Islam saja kita sudah men-generalisasikan mereka. Banyak di antara warga negara" barat, berdasarkan pengalaman kuliah di amerika, yang sangat terbuka fikirannya dan supportive terhadap Islam. Marilah sesama kaum akademis kita turut ber-pandangan terbuka satu sama lain dan mulai melihat perbedaan sebagai satu aset untuk membangun ke arah yang lebih baik.

Ditunggu komentar dan pandangan rekan-rekan.


Vienna was a beautiful and well preserved old town. The 18-19 Century buildings in the city center was very clean and well maintained. We unfortunately only stayed there for one night, and was not able to fully explore this charming capital of Austria. From my brief observation, Vienna seemed to have a chill, layback - hanging out in café sort of atmosphere. It is somehow more cheerful/less depressing than most of German cities I've visited before. Yes there was a lot of tour groups, but not as overwhelming as it was in Prague.

We stayed in Hostel Ruthensteiner (highly recommended - also recommended by Lonely Planet) was amazingly clean and lively. It is conveniently located between downtown and Schloss Schönnbrunn. We spent our only day in Vienna basically just strolling down the city, since the major sights are in walking distance. We started by walking by the Altes Rathaus (old town hall), then making our way through the Museum Complex and then Hofburg. Hofburg was one of the highlight of Vienna. Unfortunately due to renovation of the Sissi museum, we didn't go inside the Kaizerapartment museum, a house where Emperor Franz Josef I and Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) used to live. Next to the Hofburg was the State Library. Not only this library has a massive collection of books, but all of them was organized neatly and look like one of those old-school libary that you'd see in movies. I wonder if I will ever read enough books in my life to make a library like this (well maybe a little smaller). After Hofburg, we went strolling down the Naschmarkt. This was so far the best street food market I have ever seen in Europe. Not only because of the eclectic kinds of food you can find there, but also the high quality of the food there. They have all sort of cheese store, bakery, and spice stores there. This is exactly the place where I want to buy the ingredients when I am cooking. I want to live in a city with this kind of market, where I can just ride my bike in the morning to buy my grocery, fresh from the vendor.

We had lunch at Schnitzel Wirthaus and had an authentic (and gigantic) Wiener Schnitzel. Seriously that thing was gigantic. If you thing that American portion is big, this Schnitzel will change your mind. I had a viennese Knödel and local viennese Beer with my Schnitzel. Knödel is a traditional german/czech/viennese dish made from flour, and look like a giant tennis ball.
After lunch we headed to the Zentralfriedhof (Central Graveyard) where we found tombstones of Mozart, Strauss, Brahms, and Beethoven.

An afternoon in an 18-Century decorated viennese Café completed the whole viennese experience in this town of the Habsburgs.