FPI: Forbidden Persons in Islam

By N. Mark Castro

The Jakarta Globe reported today that the all-too-powerful Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) shut down a transgender festival that was to be held in Jakarta.

That a violent group can just as easily dictate the police, defy the authorities, and even threaten the national government shows the weakness in the current system. Some government officials have actually kowtowed to this group at one point or another, deigning their existence with official acknowledgment.

The FPI has wrecked havoc in the country for far too long, abusing the kindness of its citizens while proclaiming its righteous conservatism as the penultimate ideals of the land.

It has even threatened to overthrow the government at one point, yet it never received a warning nor anyone incarcerated for such blatant display of terrorism.

Every time there is a progressive movement that is initiated by the public, the FPI is there to dictate to the rest of the 250 million citizens its own version of its wisdom. More importantly, it is there to threat, coerce, and even act violently if needs be, in order to stamp its own righteous indignation for people who would think otherwise.

This recent issue is no different.

According to the same report, Salim Alatas, chief patron of the Jakarta chapter of the organization said that:

“The local community did not want the contest to be held in their area. They asked the police if there is a permit for the contest, but there is not,” said Salim, who discovered the event from a newspaper. “We will deny if there is such thing as a transgender contest in our country. It’s morally destructive and not educating.”


Of course, that’s his Arabic attempt to project his version.

According to the same report, Merlyn Sofyan, the initiator of the festival, denied the event was a transgender pageant contest.

“It’s called Festival Waria Berbudaya [Cultural Transgender Festival], not a pageant where contestants are judged by their looks,” Merlyn told the Jakarta Globe. “Festival Waria Berbudaya is an attempt to answer the wrong perceptions in our community by producing decent human resources of waria. It’s not going to be instant, but we’re trying to nurture them.”

It’s quite hilarious how the entire fiasco has turned into a HE SAID-HE/SHE SAID event.

What is not hilarious is how the basic human rights of the people are trampled by so few.

– End Of Story –

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on December 5, 2012, in General, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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