Tue, 08 Aug 2000

Mujahiddin congress calls for Islamic law

YOGYAKARTA (JP): A three-day Mujahiddin Congress ended here on Monday after recommending that the Criminal Code (KUHP) be replaced with Syariah Islamic law and the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) be disbanded.

Chairman of the congress' organizing committee Irfan S. Awwas said that the KUHP was a Dutch colonial inheritance and needed to be discarded because it was against the teachings of all religions.

"Every religion in the world forbids its followers from engaging in illicit sex. Yet the KUHP does not proscribe a punishment to those proven to have taken part in such illegal deeds if they were done voluntarily or by way of mutual consent," Irfan said.

Komnas HAM, he said, had harmed Muslims. "Fearing it is breaching human rights, the commission has done nothing to stop things which, according to the Islamic world view, are against Syariah law," Irfan said, not giving any more detail.

The 1,500 Muslims attending the congress agreed that Syariah law was the only solution to all problems relating to society, politics and human rights.

Fifteen of the participants came from Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. The rest were from Indonesia.

Demands for the application of Syariah law have been made by certain Muslim groups in the country since independence.

The Mujahiddin group also asked that the Jakarta Charter be included in the constitution. The charter, formulated by Muslims on June 22, 1945, explicitly required Indonesian Muslims to apply and practice Syariah Islam. It was included in the draft version of the 1945 constitution but was dropped from its final version.


On the first day of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Annual Session in Jakarta on Monday the application of Syariah Islam was also discussed.

Some factions from Islamic-based parties at the Assembly urged that Article 29 of the 1945 Constitution be amended by adding an explicit requirement that Muslims apply and practice Syariah law.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the military factions proposed that the statement 'The state ideology is Pancasila' be added to Article 1 of the 1945 Constitution.

Article 1 describes the form and sovereignty of country.

Paragraph 1 of Article 29 says "The State shall be based upon belief in the One Supreme God", and Paragraph 2 says "The State shall guarantee freedom to every resident (citizen) to adhere to his respective religion and to perform his religious duties in conformity with that religion and that faith."

The Mujahiddin congress strongly demanded the application of the Jakarta Charter to the constitution, or the amendment of Paragraph 2 of Article 29.

In a bid to promote Syariah law and to instill leadership among Muslims, the congress established a ahlu hali wal aqdi assembly, a forum supposed to have 36 members.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir of Ngruki Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Sukoharjo, Central Java was elected as Amirul Mujahiddin (temporary chairman) until the assembly manages to recruit 36 members.

Ten Muslim scholars became members of the assembly, including Deliar Noor, Mawardi Noor and Ali Yafie from Jakarta, and Teuku Ibrahim Banda from Aceh.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir told a media conference after his election that the government had only two choices. "Apply Syariah law or we (Muslims) will die on Allah's way."

When asked if the two choices were meant to legitimatize the taking up of arms should the government fail to respond to their demand, Abu Bakar said 'no'.

"It's just an expression of our (Muslim) determination to struggle for the application of Syariah law." (swa/sur)