It is an interesting feature that further an Islamic country is from Arabia, the more tolerant it is!
However, the pan Islamic fundamentalists are playing their role and Indonesia has also been affected, through that radical cleric Bashir and his Jamait. However, he is under arrest for the Bali bombing and other bombings.
Indonesians are really not too concerned about religion and it is an interesting fact that they still go through rituals, while being Moslem, that are of their original religion. Sushilo Yuhdoyono, their President also went through these rituals on assuming his Presidency!!
The situation the Ahemediyas are in, is an interesting turn!
Indonesia is as far from "religious tolerance and pluralism' as from Arctic.
Atheism is "banned". Everyone has to 'register' their faith / religion. Why is Confucianism among the 'legal' faiths recognized by Pancasila? Many Chinese opted for Confucian since they anyway had to declare one ... (In an analogy, perhaps inappropriate) Ahmadiyah sounds like FLG as a 'variation' or 'distortion' of a "mainstream" religion (Moslem)
Let us look at the Hindu context in the largest Islamic state.
Indonesia Muslims have adopted Sanskrit names and Ramayana Dance as their national dance. They have also Garuda as their national airlines.
Hindus form 93% of the population of Bali, but also in Sumatra, Java (especially by the Tenggerese people on the east), Lombok and Kalimantan. Only about 3% of Indonesian population is officially Hindu.
It maybe of interest to note that in Java in particular, a substantial number of Muslims follow a non-orthodox, Hindu-influenced form of Islam commonly known as Kejawen/Agama Jawa and Abangan Islam.
Inspired by the Hindu Javanese past, several hundred thousand Javanese converted to Hinduism in the 1960s and 1970s. When the adherents of the ethnic religions Aluk To Dolo (Sa'dan Toraja) and Kaharingan (Ngaju, Luangan) claimed official recognition of their traditions, the Ministry of Religion classified them as Hindu variants in 1968 and 1980. The Parisada Hindu Dharma changed its name to Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia in 1984, in recognition of its national influence spearheaded by Gedong Bagus Oka.
The Bodha sect of Sasak people on the island of Lombok are non-Muslim; their religion is a fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism with animism; it is considered Buddhist by the government.
Among the non-Balinese communities considered to be Hindu by the government are, for example, the Dayak adherents of the Kaharingan religion in Kalimantan Tengah, where government statistics counted Hindus as 15.8% of the population as of 1995[update]. Nationally, Hindus represented only around 2% of the population in the early 1990s.
Many Manusela and Nuaulu people of Seram follow Naurus, a syncretism of Hinduism with animist and Protestant elements.
Similarly, the Tana Toraja of Sulawesi have identified their animistic religion as Hindu.
The Batak of Sumatra have identified their animist traditions with Hinduism.
The Tamils of Sumatra and the Indians in Jakarta practice their own form of Hinduism which is similar to the Indian Hinduism, the Indians celebrating Hindu holidays more commonly found in India, such as Deepawali.
Hindu holidays in Indonesia
Hari Raya Galungan – Galungan occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. It celebrates the coming of the gods and the ancestral spirits to earth to dwell again in the homes of their descendants. The festivities are characterized by offerings, dances and new clothes. The ancestors must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. Families whose ancestors have not been cremated yet, but remain buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the graves. Kuningan is the last day of the holiday, when the gods and ancestors depart until the next Galungan.
Hari Raya Saraswati – Saraswati is the goddess of learning, science, and literature. She rules the intellectual and creative realm, and is the patron goddess of libraries and schools. Balinese Hindus believe that knowledge is an essential medium to achieve the goal of life as a human being, and so honor her. She is also celebrated because she succeeded in taming the wandering and lustful mind of her consort, Brahma, who was preoccupied with the goddess of material existence, Shatarupa. On this day no one is allowed to read or write, and offerings are made to the lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts), books, and shrines.
Saraswati Day is celebrated every 210-days on Saniscara Umanis Wuku Watugunung and marks the start of the new year according to the Balinese Pawukon calendar. Ceremonies and prayers are held at the temples in family compounds, villages and businesses from morning to noon. Prayers are also held in school or any other learning institution temples. Teachers and students abandon their uniforms for the day in place of bright and colourful ceremony gear, filling the island with color. Children bring fruit and traditional cakes to school for offerings at the temple.
Hari Raya Nyepi – Nyepi is a Hindu Day of Silence or the Hindu New Year in the Balinese Saka calendar. The largest celebrations are held in Bali as well as in Balinese Hindu communities around Indonesia. On New Year's Eve the villages are cleaned, food is cooked for two days and in the evening as much noise is made as possible to scare away the devils. On the following day, Hindus do not leave their homes, cook or engage in any activity. Streets are deserted, and tourists are not allowed to leave hotel complexes.
Nyepi is determined using the Balinese calendar (see below), the eve of Nyepi falling on the night of the new moon whenever it occurs around March/April each year. Therefore, the date for Nyepi changes every year, and there is not a constant number of days difference between each Nyepi as there is for such days as Galungan and Kuningan. To find out when Nyepi falls in a given year, you will need information on the cycles of the moon for that year. Whenever the new moon falls between mid-March and mid-April, that night will be the night of great activity and exorcism island-wide, while the next day will be the day of total peace and quiet, where everything stops for a day.
While many Javanese have retained aspects of their indigenous and Hindu traditions through the centuries of Islamic influence, under the banner of 'Javanist religion' (kejawen) or a non-orthodox 'Javanese Islam' (abangan, cf. Geertz 1960), no more than a few isolated communities have consistently upheld Hinduism as the primary mark of their public identity. One of these exceptions are the people of the remote Tengger highlands (Hefner 1985, 1990) in the province of Eastern Java.
A common feature among new Hindu communities in Java is that they tend to rally around recently built temples (pura) or around archaeological temple sites (candi) which are being reclaimed as places of Hindu worship.
One of several new Hindu temples in eastern Java is Pura Mandaragiri Sumeru Agung, located on the slope of Mt. Semeru, Java's highest mountain. When the temple was completed in July 1992, with the generous aid of wealthy donors from Bali, only a few local families formally confessed to Hinduism. A pilot study in December 1999 revealed that the local Hindu community now has grown to more than 5000 households.
Similar mass conversions have occurred in the region around Pura Agung Blambangan, another new temple, built on a site with minor archaeological remnants attributed to the kingdom of Blambangan, the last Hindu polity on Java.
A further important site is Pura Loka Moksa Jayabaya (in the village of Menang near Kediri), where the Hindu king and prophet Jayabaya is said to have achieved spiritual liberation (moksa).
A further Hindu movement in the earliest stages of development was observed in the vicinity of the newly completed Pura Pucak Raung (in the Eastern Javanese district of Glenmore), which is mentioned in Balinese literature as the place where the Hindu saint Maharishi Markandeya gathered followers for an expedition to Bali, whereby he is said to have brought Hinduism to the island in the fifth century AD.
An example of resurgence around major archaeological remains of ancient Hindu temple sites was observed in Trowulan near Mojokerto. The site may be the location of the capital of the Hindu empire Majapahit. A local Hindu movement is struggling to gain control of a newly excavated temple building which they wish to see restored as a site of active Hindu worship. The temple is to be dedicated to Gajah Mada, the man attributed with transforming the small Hindu kingdom of Majapahit into an empire.
In Karanganyar region in Central Java, the renovated 14th century Cetho temple on the slope of Mount Lawu has become the center of Javanese Hinduism and gain patronage of Balinese temples and royal houses. A new temple is being built East of Solo (Surakarta) It is a Hindu temple that has miniatures of 50 sacred sites around the world. It is also an active kundalini yoga meditation centre teaching the sacred javanese tradition of sun and water meditation. There are many westerners as well as javanese joining in.
Although there has been a more pronounced history of resistance to Islamization in East Java, Hindu communities are also expanding in Central Java (Lyon 1980), for example in Klaten, near the ancient Hindu monuments of Prambanan. Today Prambanan temple stages various Hindu annual ceremonies and festivals such as Galungan and Nyepi.
In West Java, a Hindu temple Pura Parahyangan Agung Jagatkartta was built on the slope of Mount Salak near the historic site of ancient Sunda Kingdom capital, Pakuan Pajajaran in modern Bogor. The temple dubbed as the largest Balinese Hindu temple ever built outside Bali, and was meant as the main temple for Balinese Hindu population in Greater Jakarta region. However because the temple stood in Sundanese sacred place, and also host a shrine dedicated to Sundanese famous king; Prabu Siliwangi, the site has gain popularity among locals that wish to reconnect their ties with the ancestors.
Now compare that with the Islamic countries elsewhere.
I might as well add that we had an Indonesian maid in Singapore and we did not find any sign of orthodox or fundamentalist Islam in her. My own relation orginally a Hindu and a Malaysian by birth and nationality married an Indonesian lady and converted. He is most orthodox about his new religion, but the lady is most modern and very accommodating and there is no trace of her flaunting Islam!
Therefore, to believe that Indonesians are not secular maybe misplaced.
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni, social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together.
If Indonesia was that intolerant a Muslim country, why should they allow this type of activity that brings everything to a stop (and which is not a Muslim edict) wherein even tourists are not exempt?
This currency note of Rupiah 20000 of Indonesia depicts a picture of Ganesha on it. Indonesia is mainly an Islamic country with majority of muslim population. Then also you must wonder why a picture of Indian deity on it? The answer of this question lies in the history. Few years back Java was a part of Indonesia and once it was a center of powerful hindu kingdoms from 5th century to 15th century A.D. To honour the past and the hindu citizens of the country this note was issued. It is a must have note for every indian collector. Its not even costly and is easily available.
Indonesia is perhaps undergoing the same process Europe when through centuries ago at a time when the Semitic faith there was gaining socio-political preponderance in post classical Europe.The new faith with its own set of dogmas, cultural traits, tries to ingratiate into the native population group by at first appearing to be amenable to assimilation,but eventually supplants the native cultural core to an extent where the native cultural identity ceases to represent a coherent cultural unit,identifiable as something distinct,there might be remnants of that cultural core,like language,custom and cultural practices,but they are no longer functioning subsets of a cultural unit,but mere useful tools for the new culture.
The interloping culture internalizes this change in a native community not because of any inherent hatred or difference of opinion of theological substance,rather because the interloping faith has too much faith on the cultural strength of its own tradition,hence assimilation tends to be a rebuke to the core of its cultural tenets.
Semitic faiths,as do all interloping philosophies,tend to divest a population group of its cultural heritage as part of the process of internalizing this cultural conversion,however this transformation is slow and gradual.Indonesia's introduction to the interloping Islamic culture is fairly new,speaking relative to the pace at which cultures impose themselves,hence despite a very evident transformation of the native culture,the elements of native cultures cultural traits and iconography tend to be conspicuous by their presence,eventually they too will be relegated in popular cultural consciousness until what remains will be just a set of meaningless motifs.
The author seems to be the classic case of someone afflicted with what Edward Said would call Orientalism,the tendency to perceive cultural interactions in Asian societies from the prism of the observers own cultural moorings,blinkered by his own set of values and ethics and the judgment they tend to help conclude.The misfortune is that we all tend to do the same and there is no escaping from this fact.
OHimalaya Buddhism is a subset and one of the heterodox sects of what we call today as Hinduism.You can even find those influences in the Shinto Pantheon.On whom do you think was the monkey king actually based upon?The jade emperor is based on Indra I think
Monkey king probably can be tracked to Ramayana. I read a comic book of Rama when I was a pupil. But stories of China's Monkey King is quite different from Rama's IMO. Monkey King is about devotion and ordeals on the way to Buddhism scripts from India.
jade emperor? not so sure, the almighty ruler in heaven in Taoism, like Vaishnava ?