Officials are trying to allay fears that the village, which already has many non-Muslim residents, will henceforth be exclusively for Muslims. “Betawi village is open to all religions, ethnic groups,” from the Jakarta Post, with thanks to Nancy Block and RB:
The controversy over the newly endorsed bylaw on the designation of Srengseng Sawah subdistrict in South Jakarta as an Islamic Betawi village may come to an end, as several Betawi figures have said it will not be exclusively for Muslim residents.
The Betawi people are not of the view that the inclusion of several Islamic terminologies in the bylaw would not mean that Srengseng Sawah will be closed to non-Muslim residents.
All those negatives make this a bit unclear.
Representing Betawi community figures, noted historian Ridwan Saidi said on Sunday that the village would still be an inclusive area for people of any ethnicity or religion although there would also be an intensive effort to preserve Betawi culture.
“The bylaw has nothing to do with religion. But we should understand that if we are talking about Betawi culture, we cannot go far from the importance of mosques and musholla (prayer houses or rooms), the places where Betawi people get together,” he told The Jakarta Post.
According to Ridwan, the wariness of certain parties over the proposed conversion of Srengseng Sawah into an exclusively Islamic village can be assuaged through gubernatorial decrees on the implementation of the bylaw.
“The decree should stipulate the protection of residents of all religions and ethnic groups in Srengseng Sawah,” Saidi suggested….
Protection! Seeing as how “dhimmi” means “protected people,” pardon me if I am less than impressed.