In Islam Unveiled and about fifty gazillion times thereafter I have pointed out that Muslim reformers will always face a well-nigh impossible struggle within the Islamic community, because hardliners will use the Qur’an and Sunnah to portray them as disloyal Muslims. Here is another example of just that. “Hard-liners want JIL evicted before Ramadhan,” from the Jakarta Post, with thanks to Witness:
Several Muslim leaders claiming to represent Utan Kayu residents in East Jakarta told district officials late on Tuesday to evict the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) from the area before the beginning of Ramadhan in early October.
As district officials were holding a dialog with representatives of the Utan Kayu Community at the Al-Muslimun mosque — about five minutes walk from JIL’s headquarters — mosque leader Ustadz Syafruddin Tandjung took the floor and at least 100 people shouted their desire to see JIL forced to leave the area.
“They asked the district leaders to solve the matter before the beginning of Ramadhan and said that there was no need for further dialog,” recounted Radio 68H production director Heru Hendratmoko, who also attended Tuesday’s meeting.
It was not immediately clear what would happen if JIL was still operating by the beginning of the fasting month, which will start on Oct. 5.
Rumors have been simmering that some Muslim extremist groups would attack JIL, which is headed by noted Muslim scholar Ulil Absar Abdala. Ulil recently went to the United States to begin a doctoral course.
The Utan Kayu Community complex, where JIL is located, also houses several other institutions, including Galeri Lontar, the Institute for the Studies on the Free Flow of Information (ISAI) and private radio station Radio 68H.
Hard-line Muslim elements have been pushing for the eviction of JIL since the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued its much-criticized fatwa banning liberal concepts of Islam, secularism and pluralism in July.