The Defeat of Pluralism: The Case of Lia Aminuddin

Friday, December 6th, 2013, 09:52 WIB

The ‘false prophets’ and heretic movements are long-standing phenomena in this country. This implies that Indonesia is not only fertile for growing of various flora and fauna, but also  for the  birth  of various  religious groups. Furthermore, most of Indonesian prophets have huge contribution by struggling against hegemonies, like dominant version of Islam, collonial rule, and Indonesian government. Historically, the emergence of  prophets  who  declared  new  religious teachings has marked various turning points. For instance, prophets  born  from  various  ethnicities  and  localities during the Dutch colonial era were furiosly fighting against the collonial rule. Just like the collonial government, Indonesian government todays arrested these prophets, including Lia Aminuddin.

In fact, the Dutch extinguished most  of  the  campaigns  led  by  Indonesian prophets  with extreme strategies of arresting and sending them into exile. In consequence, the prophets become far from their followers. Interestingly, the emergence of new prophets never lay off until today. Only few local religions founded by Indonesian prophets since colonial period are still survive, such as Parmalim in Sumatera. In contemporary case, the government sent prophets to jail due to their critiques to the major religions, they are charged with the 1965 blasphemy law. In other words, the blasphemy law played a significant role in limiting freedom and religious expression.

Dr. Al Makin, a tenured lecture at the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University and ICRS UGM Graduate School, presented this enlightening topic. He become a speaker at the CRCS-ICRS Wednesday Forum on 27 November 2013. He holds Ph. D from Philosophie Fakultät, Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients, Ruprecht-Karls- Universität (2008). He received MA degree from the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal (1999) and He was an international research fellow at The International Consortium for Research in The Humanities ―the Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe (IKGF), Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany (2009-2010). His BA degree is from the Faculty of Ushuluddin, the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (1996).

In the forum, Dr. Al-Makin brilliantly emphasizes the account and path of theological claims to prophethood by Lia Eden who was arrested, brought to court, and jailed twice. Besides the government, extremist groups and their charismatic leaders are also involved in the human rights abuse. For instance, Habib Riziq and FPI spread terrors in many court trials and attacked the AKKBB (alliance for the freedom of religions), Lia Eden’s, and proponents of judicial review of the 1965 blasphemy law. Indeed, the external factor outside the courts have impact upon judges and attorneys’ decisions.

Dr. Al-Makin clearly describes Lia Aminudin’s short biography, journey to spirituality, and the way in which her divine revelations were responded to by some factions of Islamic orthodoxy in Indonesia. It is interesting that there is Indonesian complex processes of transition from authoritarian rule to the new era of democracy and freedom. This shows that her story of prophethood grow in the context of crisis or tension between order and disorder. Ironically, leaders of Eden, including Rachman, Lia, Andito are sentenced to jail from two to three years due to their faith in the Lia’s divinity and prophethood. Meanwhile, murderers of Ahmadiyah received only three months; Rizieq received 1,5 year sentence, but only spent few months in jail. (admin/che)