The US and its allies are behaving with “exceptional injustice” toward Muslim countries, says Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. From Smh.com.au, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
Mrs Megawati sought to contrast the way Indonesia had used the law to find and prosecute its terrorists with the “unilateral” US-led invasion of Iraq. The remarks opened an international conference of Islamic scholars, which her government partly funded.
“It may be due to either coincidence or intention, but an exceptional injustice is apparent in the attitude and action of big countries towards countries [whose] major populations are Muslims,” she told 300 delegates from Islamic universities and governments around the world.
Indonesia, she said, had the right idea:
Indonesia was a genuinely moderate Muslim society that used the justice system to oppose terrorism, such as the bombings in Bali, she said. “The nation resolutely repudiates and legally prosecutes those perpetrating acts of violence against others, despite their conviction that those are religious acts.”
Hmm. What about the light treatment meted out to Abu Bakar Bashir?
Megawati was also exercised about France:
Although France had staunchly opposed the Iraqi invasion, she said it was guilty of perpetrating a “far smaller” injustice towards Muslims by its recent move to restrict women and girls from wearing the Islamic head scarf.
Such discriminatory acts would be seen as test cases in Muslim countries to judge whether “those big countries are serious in practising the human rights they have preached to the whole world since the past 20th century”.
What tests, if any, meanwhile, would Muslim countries themselves have to take regarding human rights? Megawati did have a few comments:
But she also criticised Islamic society and said it too needed to change and present “a more peaceful facade”. She urged Islamic leaders to become more open to ideas and technological advances in the West that were leaving Islamic societies behind.
“Islamic scholars need to formulate and develop a socio-religious conception that is more open, more inclusive, which provides space to the pluralism of mankind that is so diverse.”
Indonesia’s 40 million strong Islamic group Nahdlatul Ulama organised the meeting with government help to redress the “stigmatisation of Islam as a religion that accommodates acts of violence”, a conference document said.
If Nahdlatul Ulama really wants to do that, it will have to address jihad ideology. I doubt that was on the agenda.