Religioclasm, Fanoclasm, Homoclasm

Friday, January 27th, 2012, 09:17 WIB


By: Fransiskus Borgias M.

Franz Borgias
Fransiskus Borgias M.

The attack on a religious community is a crime because it is a kind of religioclasm, fanoclasm, and homoclasm. We have to reject such crimes among us. Last February (2011) there were three religious incidents. The first was the attack on Ahmadiyah in Cikeusik, Banten. The second was Temanggung incident in which there was a judicial case of a certain Christian but then it provokes a riot destroying Churches. The third is the incident of the attack on a pesantren in East Java. This is only some portraits of problems in Indonesia. The Cikeusik bloody tragedy was terrible. The official report says that there were three Ahmadians killed by brutal mob. It seems that the police could not do anything. Or they let the tragedy happened. If this is true then this is a crime by omission of state. The state failed to protect its citizens. This is dangerous because it is related to the foundation of this state. It seemed that the Constitution of 1945 and Pancasila were considered obsolete. We have to realize that Ahmadians are also Indonesian’s citizens. They have the same right to be protected by the state. This is one of human tragedies in this country. Our political-ideological question related to this tragedy is: until when the state will be made a plaything in the hands of mobs such as we see in Cikeusik? I cannot answer this question. It is the state who can answer it.

Not long after Cikeusik tragedy, there happens another tragedy in Temanggung, Central Java. The mobs destroy churches and fences of the churches and some schools. It is officially claimed that there is no human victims in this second event. There was a rumor that a pastor was beaten, but then such rumor was denied officially by the church. A week afterward we heard the third tragedy happened in East Java, done by mobs on a Pesantren owned by Shi’ah tradition, while the dominant tradition in Indonesia is Shunny. There is no human victim, although there was some destruction upon the building (including fences).

I called these events with keywords: religioclasm, fanoclasm, and homoclasm. What are they? They are derivative words coined after the word iconoclasm in the church history. It is a movement in the history to destroy holy pictures, statues, and representation of holy figures, like icons in the Greek tradition. Based on the word iconoclasm, I coin the word the same way as iconoclasm. The first is religioclasm. It is a movement to destroy a religion for reasons determined by majority. The second is fanoclasm. It is a movement to destroy holy places, a fanum, Latin word for temple or holy place. Usually fanoclasm coincides with religioclasm. If you do not like a certain religion, then you will try to destroy its holy places. This is something usual in the history. Usually upon such old holy shrine the winner will establish a new holy shrine from their own religion. This happens in the sites of the Temple in Jerusalem, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, maybe also some great cathedrals in Europe. In this case they destroy it definitely by changing its traditional function with a new one. The third is homoclasm. It is a movement to destroy human being, a homo, a Latin word for human being.

The problem is that those three issues are serious because they are human problems. There are some issues related to these three events: the issue of human rights, of justice, and of religious freedom. Religioclasm is a crime related to the issue of religious freedom which has been ratified by our Constitution of 1945 and also declared by UNO in its document UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Religious freedom is a constitutional right of every citizen in Indonesia and surrounds the world. Fanoclasm is a crime related to the issue of justice. There are many resources used to build a religious holy place. In some cases it takes a long time and process to get the permission. People collect money for the establishment of the building and the mobs destroy it. This is injustice because some people have sacrificed much of their economic resources and others destroy it. Once a house of prayer is built there is also a psychological relationship between it and its religious community. So the crime done to the house of prayer is also a crime done to the heart of the religious congregation. Homoclasm is a crime related to the issue of human rights. One of the human rights declared in our constitution and in UDHR is the right to live. Our human life is a grace of God the Creator. So this is a fundamental right because it is given by God. There is no other agent who can take the life of human being; not also the brutal mob or the vigilantes. Not even the state. If there is human victim in the bloody riot in Cikeusik, this is a crime to human, a violation of human rights.

To those victims and their family we can only offer our prayer of sympathy and condolence hoping that in the future there will be no such event anymore. To the brutal mobs and the vigilantes I have something to say: You have to realize that Ahmadians are also the same citizens of Indonesia. They have the same rights (life and religious freedom) like all other Indonesians. To the state and its leaders: we have to realize that this state has its own law and constitution. The state must take an immediate action to protect its citizens when there is a threat towards a certain group, in this case is a religious minority. Do not let the vigilantes take the law to their hands and do violence to others and the state just silent. Again to the vigilantes: try to learn to love the other, your neighbor in their difference. Try to live with difference, to tolerate the difference. Only by so doing we can live in peace and harmony in this lovely republic.

This article is written because of the tragic and dramatic violence done in the name of religion. This is paradoxical. Religion usually teaches love and peace but it was hate that grows from the soil of religion. God creates human being in his image, but man can only become a devil and wolf in the eyes of the other. Homo homini lupus, said Hobbes.