By: Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada, MA

Rector of State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta


Diversity of ethnic, culture and also religion of Indonesian citizens was a reality since early of independence. The founding fathers of Indonesia were confidently decided to develop a diversity country under the same spirit to achieve golden goals social welfare, justice and prosperity for all citizens. They believed these goals will be able to be attained by maintaining togetherness, harmonious relationship, professional partnership in business, bureaucratic service, national defense and services, respecting each other in the field of religiosity, culture and art. However, promoting a peaceful coexistence between the different ethnics, religious followers, and different culture is not an easy program. It needs a powerful regulation, smart management and continuous controlling by the government, and active participation from the religious leaders and society at all. Along history of improving cohesive relationship between all ethnics and religious followers, Indonesia has very important experiences, whether in the context of religious tolerance, ethnic relationship, or cultural appreciation.

Religious tolerance is one of the most important program in Indonesia since 1960 decade until today, because one of four pillars of the nation is unity in diversity. It means that Indonesia will be able to achieve the goals of the country as long as the government is able to maintain the harmonious relationship between all different religious followers, ethnics and culture. It understandable, because social welfare and prosperity can be attained by economical growth that is depending on industrial sector, trading, international business networking, banking industry, transportation, and even the government regulation to minimize inefficiency in all the business process. All those aspects need stability, and stability needs harmonious relationship amongst society. For this purpose, the Indonesian government issued the bill number 1, year 1965 about preventing desecration of religion,[1] and then followed by issuing joint decree between ministry of religious affairs and ministry of home affairs number 1, year 1979, about the ways of religious missionary and foreign aids for religious activity.[2] Year 2006, under the umbrella joint decree number 9 and 8 year 2006, ministry of religious affairs and ministry of home affairs also issued join decree about the authority of governor and regent to maintain the harmonious relationship between al religious followers, and establishing forum of communication for religious followers, and regulation of building house for worship.[3]

So far, those regulations effectively improve the harmonious relationship between all religious followers from all different religions. Some conflicts that have happened amongst religious community mostly triggered by misunderstanding within a religion, for instance the appearance of Ahmadiyah and Syi’ah school amongst Islamic followers. They are coming from muslim community, and basically, they are muslim. They have the same principles doctrines, like the concept of God, Scripture, and also the messenger of God. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, according to Ahmadiyah Lahore,  is believed as the reformist not as the messenger of God.[4] But for Ahmadiyah Qadhiyani, he is believed as a non-legalizing prophet.  And also in any cases they are different, for instance, about revelation. According to the Ahmadiyah Qadhiyan, the revelation is still revealed until now end even until the end of the day. These are the area of debate because the matter of revelation is one of the theological principle, that is why most of muslim community in some parts of Indonesia denied the existence of Ahmadiyah amongst them. While the other differences mostly in the shari’ah, and actually that isn’t a matter of relationship disharmony, because Indonesian muslims commonly accepted the differences in legal opinion conviction.

And also some conflicts between muslim communities and Christian followers in some sub-provinces in eastern parts of Indonesia, like in Tolikara that has happened year 2015, where  groups of muslim were attacked by the Christian when they were preparing to pray Ied al Fithri.[5] And so Kupang case that has happened in November year 1998, where some Christian from GMKI, PMKRI, and Youth of Catholic from NTT, organized the mourning day for the victim of Ketapang case. But the event was followed by attacking to some houses of worship for muslim communities, not only some mosques but also some praying halls, muslim own shopping centers, muslim leader houses, and even the house of Islamic Political Party leader.[6] Ketapang case itself, happened one week before Kupang, it happened in 21 of November year 1998, because of blowing to a badminton referee, he was an Ambon people, and then riot involving two religious communities  can’t be avoided.  Series of riot was also happened in western nusa tenggara, it happened at year 2000, where some Muslim organizations from Islamic Student Movement (PMII), the Unity Islamic Students (HMI), the Organization of Muhammadiyah Students (IMM), Union for Action  of Muslim Students (KAMMI), Youth Movement of Anshar, Multipurpose Support (Banser), and communication forum from Islamic boarding school from NTB, organized a great missionary event, and invited to all Christian organization to condemn attacking Ambon People to the Muslim communities in Ambon. But this good event was followed by the unexpected action as parts of the people attacked and burned some churches, Christian schools, Christian houses, and even Christian own shopping centers.[7]

All those cases were overcome soon by the government, because all the cases were covered by the regulations. So, the security from the police force, and supported by the team from civil service police entered the cases, and processed it until the end. Lately, Indonesia isn’t busied by such conflicts, even at the end of year 2016 Indonesia was still shocked by group rallies of traditional Muslim from Jakarta and surrounding areas, it was happening at November 4, so it was popular by 411 movement, and followed by the same action one month later at December 2, so it was popular by 212 movement. It was begun by issuing legal opinion from umala council, that the statement from Governor of Jakarta, was a religious defamation, particularly for Muslim leaders, because he stated the insulting word for them. But the case was ended peacefully when the governor election has been done, and Muslim communities were satisfied by the result of the election. Looking at this latest phenomenon, the people of Indonesia, in some cases still considering religious identity for public position.

The most dangerous threat is coming from radicalism that that is permitting to use violence as the way to struggle for implementing religious doctrines. Indonesia is still facing such problem, but the police force, so far, is able to anticipate the attacks, and they are able to arrest main actors before attacking. So, the community satisfied by professional works from police force, and now Indonesian leaders, academicians, political leaders, and also religious leaders, are thinking to arrange some efforts for reframing of thinking for all Indonesia citizens, and prioritizing harmonious relationship by improving dialogue, mutual respect, mutual trust and understanding, sitting together holding firmly in unity in diversity as one of four nations building pillars. How to make Indonesia more tolerance, co-existence in developing the country for all levels of the communities, and penetrating smoothly the religious spirit in all regulations, developing cultures, education, economical life and so forth, ruling out blaming and violence. That is the ideal frame of thinking to achieve the goals of the country, and Indonesia has dealt with it by strengthening some regulations.

 Between Tolerance and Co-Existence

Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) as a mandatory ministry to develop, maintain and manage harmony in diversity, has been promoting tolerance in all kind of regulations since 1965, when the government was aware to control harmonious relationship between all religious followers. It was started by enacting Presidential Decree number 1 year 1965,  about preventing religious abuse and desecration.[8] It was a regulation that prohibited every one of abuse interpretation to the religious doctrine from the admitted religion by the nation, and influence other people to support and follow him. This regulation also prohibited everyone to do religious activities similar to the religious traditions of a certain religion admitted by the country. This regulation was enacted to prevent disharmony relationship between religious followers.

The word tolerance precisely used in the legal regulation, when Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs issued joint decree number 1 year 1979, about the ways of religious missionary activities and the procedure of foreign aids to support religious institute programs. In the article number 1 stipulated, that the goal of the regulations is to regulate and to direct religious missionary activities orderly and harmoniously. And then to develop tolerance between all religious followers to consolidate the stability of the community for supporting national development.[9] The word tolerance was formally reused in joint decree between Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs Number 9 and 8 year 2006, about Guideline for Provincial and district government to maintain tolerance between all religious followers, and guide lining to establish a forum in each to develop and maintain communication between all religious followers. This joint decree also regulated about establishing house for worship. This joint decree precisely stipulated that the Governor and regent are responsible for developing and maintaining tolerance within and between all religious followers. The implementation of the programs are supported by provincial and district religious office. Also, Governor and regent are mandated to establish communication forum for religious followers,[10] to develop and maintain tolerance within and between religious followers.

Tolerance is being very important for Indonesia to develop the nation for achieving the goals of the country, social welfare, justice and prosperity. The nation that is always busied by ethnic or culture and religion conflict, will not be able to improve industry, trading, overseas business networking, professional working and all economical activities, as the main capital for being the prosperous country. Communal conflict also will curtail the effectiveness of social activities, education process, praying on God, social union, and also government services. For those reasons, the government seriously manages tolerance as a political decision and mandated to the Ministry of Religious Affairs by developing three tolerance domains, within religious followers, between religious followers, and between religious followers and government. Some efforts to minimize communal conflict based on religious understanding, ethnic interest, or cultural improvement, has been done by the Ministry of Religious Affairs through cross dialogue that is always organized by communication forum for religious followers, and active campaign from the provincial and district government to strengthen harmony in diversity, toward the prosperous country in the future.

Hence, what is tolerance that is introduced by Islam through the messenger of God, Muhammad PBUH. To know it, let see the historical fact that has happened at the prophet period. The first, there was a fact that his companion Abu al-Hushein came to see Muhammad, and said that his two sons converted to be christian when they were called to be Christian by traders from Syria, and then they went out from Madinah to Syria to follow their new colleagues. He asked the prophet Muhammad, what to do to bring back to Islam. Muhammad said “No coercion in following a certain religion”. [11] This was a case that happened when verses number 256 from surah al Baqarah was revealed, and Muhammad as a messenger of Allah used such verses to give an answer for his companion Abu Hushein to face the problem of his two sons. So, embracing Islam or not, that is human right, and everyone can take a decision what is right or wrong, and what good and bad, each people can decide for himself, no one can compel other people.

The other case that happened at period of Muhammad, as was narrated in Sirah Nabawi by Ibnu Ishaq, that a group of Christians consisted of 60 persons, led by 14 pastors, came to see Muhammad in Madinah, to discuss about position of Jesus as a son of God, and other interesting topics about religion. Muhammad firmly asserted that Isa was a messenger of Allah. The discussion was running until two days, and it was ended by each conclusion. But there was an interesting deed when the prying time was coming, Muhammad permitted to pray together with his companions, and he always gave the chance for the delegation to do their worship as usual, in one corner of the mosque, and used all praying Christian properties. His companions were protested the prophet as using part of the mosque for Christian rites, but Muhammad said, let them do as their tradition, and we have to respect their belief by facilitating them as we can.[12]

Finally, it is understandable that tolerance is a basic principle of Islam. It doesn’t mean a lack of principles, or lack of seriousness about one’s own principles. It doesn’t mean that muslim should neglect his own obligation. Tolerance according to Islam doesn’t mean that all religions are the same. Tolerance is consistent for human rights. The practice of tolerance doesn’t mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one’s conviction. It means that one is free to adhere to one’s own conviction and accept the others adhere to theirs. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behavior and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one’s views aren’t to be imposed on other.[13]

The same perspective is also coming from Thowfeek, a researcher from American National Academy in Sri Lanka, he concluded, that tolerance is an attitude of not opposing the different beliefs and practices of other that evoke the disapproval in one self.[14] Hence, tolerance requires everyone to let other people practices their religious traditions, even when we are strongly disapproval to such belief. Tolerance thus, involves an intermediate attitude between wholehearted acceptance and unrestrained opposition. So far, the definition of tolerance still in the concept of respecting other people to do religious tradition based on their faith, but not to help facilitating them like what have been done by Muhammad as the messenger of God, when he facilitated some bishops to do their worship and what he has done was being good example to be followed. Good experiences in Indonesia are the relationship between Muslim and Christians in Ambon at the event of National Qur’an recitation festival year 2012, some Muslim delegations were hosted by Christian families,[15] and so, when they did the same, in the event of National church anthem festival year 2015, some delegations were hosted by Muslim families.[16] These cases were shown by several ethnics in Indonesia, and have followed a good experiences from Muhammad PBUH.

Correspondingly, Amar Fadzil stated that tolerance deals with four issues, the dignity of human beings, the basic equality of all human beings, universal right, and fundamental freedom of thought, conscience and belief.[17]Thus, for improving, maintaining and managing tolerance amongst diverse community, everyone should always take care of all human beings dignity, whatever religion they embrace, minority or majority, and whatever ethnic they are coming from, everyone should respect them as human being. No discrimination just because of religion, ethnic, racial, and culture, and also no social stratification just because of the religion or skin color. Then, everyone has to behave equally for all diverse society, because everyone is equal before the law, and more before God. Everyone has the same right to get access for education, professional works and also have the same right to implement their religious and belief.

That is the concept of tolerance, while in the United State (US) and other parts of the world the same idea is called as co-existence, but it has a little difference in concept. Jessica Berns with Mari Fitzduff defined that coexistence is the range of initiatives necessary to ensure that communities and societies can live more equitably and peacefully, preventing conflict and managing post-conflict and conflict transformation work, conflict-sensitivity, peace-building, reconciliation, multicultural, and pluralism work. Coexistence practice and policy activities can find their institutional homes within governments and governmental institutions, IGOs, NGOs, community-based organizations and foundations, business, work, cultural, social, and religious institutions.[18]

Based on this definition, co-existence, actually, has more comprehensive concept than tolerance. Co-existence commonly works not only managing, maintaining and promoting respect to the difference religion, religious tradition, ethnic and culture, but also working together to prevent communal conflict, to solve the problem, and to enhance peaceful living and even to develop multiculturalism society. Co-existence, thus, requires the community to work together in minimizing conflict by developing dialogue, discussion, and habituating collaboration to solve sociological problems, or even the people riot against government. Co-existence appeals all governments and non-government organizations to work together to develop mutual trust, mutual respect, enhancing civil society, multiculturalism, and initiating to collaborate in business, without considering religious difference.

Finally, the difference between tolerance and co-existence are as follows:

  1. Tolerance requires all diverse among community to respect each other, and let the other people to implement their religious tradition as they believe. Tolerance also requires all citizens from different religion, ethnic and culture to respect each other in all civil rights as human being, to access for all facilities and chances, education, professional works and so forth. The main goals of tolerance is unity and harmony in diversity.
  2. Co-existence is more than it, co-existence requires all diverse community to enhance togetherness, respecting each other, to work together in maintaining harmony of living, preventing communal conflict, and resolving conflict together. Co-existence also requires collaboration between government and non-government organization in preventing conflict, resolving conflict, and developing and even enhancing multiculturalism society.

 Some Challenges for Indonesia: from Tolerance to Co-Existence

Indonesia is one of most diverse country in the world. Indonesia was built on ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. Rusman Heryawan from the Central Bureau of Statistics when explaining the results of 2010 census in front of the House of Representatives Commission number IX, stated that up to now ethnic in Indonesia recorded as many as 1,128 ethnic group,[19] with a variety of regional languages as much as 726, which is still active and has 719 speakers.[20] But the largest is Javanese with a proportion of 41.7%. All Indonesian ethnic since early of independence were the followers of different religions consisting of Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism[21] and Kong Hu Chu, as the last religion recognized by the government of Indonesia as the adhered religion by part of Indonesia citizen, particularly Chinese people. It was accommodated by Indonesia government at the first congress of Communication Forum for Religious Followers year 2007, and was declared by Maftuh Basuni, Minister of Religious Affairs in the same forum.[22] So, since year 2007, Indonesia has six recognize  religions, Islam, Catholicism, Christians,  Hinduism, Buddhism, and Kong Hu Chu. Islam is a religion with the largest followers, almost 87.18 % of Indonesian citizens. Thus, muslim citizens can take a strategic position in enhancing harmonious collaboration, peaceful living, and maintaining tolerance amongst society.

Indonesia today still in the process of learning how to develop nation cohesiveness under the principle of unity in diversity, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, as one of four nation pillars of Indonesia. United State of America and also Canada as diverse country, have successfully passed a difficult period to unify frame of thinking of the people to enhance collaboration for developing the country under the principle of multiculturalism.  Indonesia is now starting to strengthen the union all diverse citizens to promote tolerance, cooperation, mutual understanding and togetherness under the principle of unity in diversity, and then followed by developing some comprehensive efforts, accomplishing regulations, promoting dialogue by optimizing communication forum of the religious followers, training and equity in the governmental service, whether from provincial government or district. Beyond those efforts, the academicians often appeal to extend multiculturalism frame of thinking for religious leaders, community figures in promoting dialogue and preventing conflict amongst society, just because misunderstanding between each other, and the very important one to hold up the principle of unity in diversity, as the basic philosophy of the country.[23]

There are several important values of unity in diversity as a formulation the principle of nation unity, in the context of Indonesia as a single geopolitical entity:

  1. The Indonesian people since the beginning of the struggle to build the country, and to make the country as a union of archipelagos in one political entity and not be separated by ethnic, culture and religious differences.
  2. The founders of the nation have a great vision to make all the potential that exists in this archipelago, both natural potential, as well as human resources, can be optimally developed to achieve the goal of the nation, social welfare, justice and prosperity.
  3. The nation of Indonesia is a nation that has a very strong respect to the difference. Indonesia with its unity in diversity does not wish to give birth to a uniformity, but respecting to the diversity of ethnic, religion and culture, collaborative each other to fight for social welfare, prosperity and justice.[24]

However, until now Indonesian still has a latent problems such as sealing the Ahmadiyah mosque on July 30, 2010 in Kuningan, by mobilizing a group of people, not only from Kuningan but also from Ciamis and Tasikmalaya.[25]Similarly, what was happening  in Cianjur at September 2005.[26] Various incidents of communal conflict that occurred in NTB, according to M Natsir, chairman of Research Institute at the University of Mataram, are mostly caused by trivial matters, such as fights teenagers involving broadly community, the all of which are influenced by the flow of globalization, mass media, and vigilante tradition.[27] While the same conflict occurred in DKI Jakarta as a result of differences in social orientation, between inclusiveness and exclusiveness, and sometimes also laid out by economic factors. Similar incidents have occurred in Poso as conflicts based on ideological and materialism factors, and in North Maluku influenced by different ideologies.

The communal conflict in NTB, as it was explained by Muhammad Natsir, was due to the lack of religious insecurity, low public education, weak economic level, and community fanaticism who are not prepared to accept differences.[28] While communal conflicts in Central Sulawesi, as was stated by SBY were mostly caused by the lack of open internal communication among people of different ethnic, religion and cultural backgrounds.[29]

The problems are intruding that still happen in some parts of Indonesian districts, very complex and require comprehensive, holistic and integrated handling. Some causes that imply such problems are as follows:

  1. The superficiality of religion understanding, and is not supported by the understanding of social concepts as is taught by religion and is shown in history.
  2. Uneven distribution of economy, with so many unemployed, and still high rates of poverty, resulting in jealousy among the poor to the rich.
  3. The decrease of horizontal communication between ethnic groups, religions and cultures in a social community, so it is very vulnerable to conflicts that can be triggered by a simple problem.
  4. The low level of multicultural attitude building among Muslim youth, especially those who take education in the non-formal education like traditional Islamic boarding school, which is not at all accessible to the literature that teaches about the life of the nation and the state.
  5. Weak awareness of the mastery and utilization of science and technology by Muslim from traditional Islamic boarding school exclusively, especially as a source of scientific information and increase their productivity, both in the agricultural sector, home-industry, and in their various businesses.

Along with it, Indonesia also still has a very serious problem coming from radicalism understanding of religious doctrine, particularly Islam. Some people with high spirit to Islamize community life, rituality, family, social, professional and law enforcement, but   very limitative knowledge about Islam, can’t influence other people to think so, and they can’t explain religious doctrine as well, but they have a great spirit to extend Islamic influence for a whole life. They commonly use violence to scare other people in competing them to follow him by revolutionary movement. That is terrorism, that still happen in Indonesia today. Terrorism by bombing and suicide almost happen yearly, for instance:

  1. Year 2002, big bombing in Pady’s cafe and Sari Cub club Legian, Kuta Bali. It was a biggest terrorism attack a long history of Indonesia with the big number of victims, 202 people were killed,  and 209 were injured, mostly from Australia.[30]
  2. Year 2003 was a very serious experience for Indonesian government, three suicide bombing in one year and in one big city Jakarta, with several victims. In February 2003 bombing was exploded in police head quarter, Jakarta, and then followed by second bombing in Soekarno Hatta Air Port, Cengkarang, was exploded in April 2003. And lastly bombing hit JW Mariot Hotel in Kuningan, with big number of victims. It happened at August 2003. All bombing was motivated by religious belief to destroy their enemy.[31]
  3. Year 2004, also the next nightmare of Indonesia, with three series bombing In Palopo, it was in January 2004, and then in Australian Embassy in September 2004, and lastly December 2004 bombing was in Immanuel Church in Palu. The target of bombing was extended from police department and public facilities, to the religious facilities like church and so forth.
  4. Year 2005, was the top bombing incident. The bombing was exploded until five times in one year. The first was bombing in Ambon in March 2005, then in May 2005 was bombing in Ternate, and victimized 22 people dead. In June, bombing was exploded in Pamulang in the residence of Abu Jibril, the leader of the group. Then in October the bombing was done in Bali with the big numbers of victims, and the last one December 31, bombing happened in the market in Palu.[32]
  5. Year 2009, bombing was exploded in Jakarta, in two hotels in the same time, at JW Mariot and the Ritz Carlton hotel. Two years later (2011) bombing was exploded in three big cities in Indonesia, Cirebon, it was suicide bombing in the mosque of the Police force head quarter. The last one was planing of bombing in Tangerang, but it wasn’t done, because police force was successfully foiled the explosion.[33]

These were some series of terrorism in Indonesia, that was done by Muslim background terrorists. It wasn’t because of Islamic doctrine requires all its followers to do so, but it was merely of the shallowing understanding Islam, with a huge spirit to optimize Islam in all aspects of human living as they think.

Indonesia has everything to prevent terrorism by some regulations as basic principles to work on anticipating terrorism action. Indonesia has also everything to anticipate terrorism action by religious missionary program to give enlightenment for all religious followers. Under the management of provincial office, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has a big number of people on basic job as the religious missionary to teach the people how to implement religion peacefully as was taught by the Messengers, and then to give enlightenment how to harmonize implementing religious doctrine amongst diverse nation, implementing religious doctrine respectfully, avoiding conflict, and collaborative within and between difference belief. These are the main job of missionary groups of each religion in Indonesia, that they are working in the ministry of Religious Affairs, they work off office, go down outreaching the community life and teaching them how to maintain harmonious relationship and togetherness.

However, Indonesia, by the bill number 1 year 1965, joint decree between Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs number 1 year 1979, and Joint Decree between Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, number 9 and 8, year 2006. All those regulations have been controlling all religious followers in Indonesia to maintain peaceful living, tolerance and pluralistic behavior. Some points of the regulations are as follow:

  1. Everyone is prohibited to do deviate interpretation of religious doctrine from other religion, and publish it for a common people, and attract them to support him.[34]
  2. Everyone is prohibited to do a deviate rituality similar to a certain religious tradition from an admitted religion in Indonesia.[35]
  3. The implementation of religious missionary work should be implemented under the spirit of tolerance, mutual respect, and based on regarding the other people right to embrace or not to embrace a certain religion.[36]
  4. Everyone has to avoid doing religion missionary by distributing meals, cloth, money, drugs or some kinds of gift, to attract other religious followers.[37]
  5. Everyone has to avoid distributing pamphlet, magazine, bulletin, books and other publications to whom has embraced a certain religion, or doing home visit with the same purpose.[38]

All above mentioned are parts of the regulations to maintain harmonious living amongst different society, whether in the religiosity, ethnic or culture. The main goal of those regulations is tolerance, means, peaceful relationship amongst society, mutual understanding, mutual respect, appreciating social equity in implementing religious belief, developing collaboration for social life, nation building in a unitary state Republic of Indonesia.[39] All those the ideal situations are being the responsible of Provincial governments and district leaders. For this purpose, the government were supported by Communication Forum for Religious Followers (FKUB). Communication forum were established in every province, district and even until to the county.

Looking at all above mentioned, Indonesia has a serious effort to promote and maintain tolerance to guarantee the process of development of the nation to achieve the goal of the country, social welfare, justice and prosperity. Whereas, the implementation of above regulation until today, still not able to eradicate conflict within religious followers, and moreover conflict between the different religious followers. Actually, all those groups are reachable by communication forum, at least by each leaders. But, it isn’t easy to persuade other people to change their conviction, belief and faith.

Based on regulations, the efforts to enhance tolerance and harmonious living amongst diverse society, limited only each religious followers keep their self to do their worship, self-facilitating, not to offense the other religious tradition. Whereas, conflict and terrorism attack mostly influenced by economy, politics, and social relationship, not because of religion itself. Thus, the government is required to extend the transformation of information toward all levels of the communities. Accordingly, there are some people aren’t reachable by information about the nation, the goals of the country, unity in diversity, tolerance, harmonious relationship to develop the country, particularly in the economy, politics, culture and national resilient. Consequently, Indonesia has to change the paradigm of effort, from passive to active movement. Means that to hold up tolerance, minimizing conflict and eradicating violence terrorism, Indonesia has to start working to harmonize society by actively promoting peaceful co-existence in preventing conflict, together in resolving conflict and more to solve the problem, and finally to move forward.

 Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Religious Tolerance

The old paradigm of tolerance has been successfully developing Indonesia as a pluralistic country that can maintain unitary, togetherness, mutual respect, mutual trust and harmonious relationship between all diverse people, whether on religious belief, ethnic or culture. But there is a lack of tools to involve all people in preventing and resolving of relationship problems, such as conflict within a religion and between religions. When the conflict is happening, the government will be coming in to solve it, and the cases legally will be resolved. But it is still a legal and judicial solution, not psychological and social. That is why, old paradigm of tolerance should be reanalyzed, and trying to employ new paradigm of Co-Existence, by engaging all connected peoples in all process of toleration, harmonizing community under the principles of mutual trust, mutual respect and spirit of togetherness.

Hanna Onyi Yusuf viewed that Peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance imply the capacity to live together in harmony. This calls for nonviolent ways of resolving conflict. The members of a society need to be oriented toward peace and tolerance rather than towards violence. At the same time, social, economic, and political systems have to be re-oriented to peace and tolerance. Inclusively, the discipline of peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance must shape our way of life. Peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance begins with the individual and spreads to the family, school, community, nation, and to the global village.[40]

The principles of work under the paradigm of Co-Existence are, all diverse people have a mutual trust, giving mutual respect, and all are engaging to enhance harmonious living and togetherness. They are also preventing conflict by cultivating dialogue in all kinds of common problems. And when the conflict is happening, they come together to discuss and to solve the problems together. Co-Existence not only sitting together, living together, and supporting each other in common concern, but also working together in solving the social problem, discussing together to avoid violence approach.  They are all engaging in strengthening the harmonious relationship. For those purpose, the government can simultaneously teaching for a wide community in a public sphere, and also developing curricular programs for elementary and secondary schools, that requires the students to learn about culture and peace, respect for human right, equality between man and women, participation in democracy, tolerance and solidarity, and also international peace and security.[41]

Some other proposed tenets to be taught amongst the students and in a wide society are; living in peace Loving and caring, Caring and sharing, Good neighborliness, Be your brother or sister‟s keeper, Respect other people‟s religion/beliefs, Equality and mutual benefit, Competition without war, Benefits of dialogue, Mutual non-aggression, Tolerance for ethnic diversity, Tolerate one another, Say “No” to any form of violence, Say “No” to any form of inhuman behavior, Accommodate individual differences.[42]


Finally, it can be concluded, that promoting tolerance, pluralism, multiculturalism can’t be achieved as well only by the existing regulations, because the paradigm of tolerance, is still at the effort to minimize crashing during implementation of religious rituality, cultural events, and some ethnical traditions. Tolerance requires everyone to respect the other with different religion, and let them do their worship as their tradition. This approach is successfully to insist all people respecting the other religious followers, implementing worship and other religious traditions as is believed by its followers. The regulation is successfully enhancing mutual respect and mutual trust to develop the harmonious relationship.

However, the solution still looks artificial. Because the participation of the society is limited at around dialogue. The next action is being the government zone to solve the problem. But the intensity to solve the problem is always constrained by the regulation. So the accomplishment is a legal solution, without psychological and sociological approach. Therefore, to strengthen harmonious relationship, mutual trust and mutual respect, Indonesia should start to change out tolerance paradigm by Co Existence paradigm, by teaching society to love and care, respect other people belief,  equality and mutual benefit, tolerance and accommodate the individual difference. These prominent values should be disseminated ti the society, both through formal and non-formal education.  Thus, the government can control school curriculum, and also community education programs through the office of Ministry of Religious Affairs.


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Mubarak. 2010. Stigmatisasi Pemberitaan Terorisme di Media Massa. Tesis Master Program Studi Ilmu Komunikasi, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang.

Natsir, Muhammad. 2010. Presentasi Penelitian Tentang Pemicu Konflik Komunal di NTB, kerjasama Polda Mataram-Unram, Mataram.

Yusuf, Hana Onyi. 2013. Promoting Peaceful Co-Existence and Religious Tolerance through Supplementary Readers and Reading Comprehension Passages in Basic Education Curriculum. International Journal of Humanities and Social ScienceVol. 3 No. 8 [Special Issue – April 2013] , Ahmad Bello University, Nigeria.

Probo, Bayu. 2015. Peserta Pesparawi XI Ambon Nginap di Rumah Penduduk Muslim. Satu Harapan (Berita Online), 2015.

Peraturan Bersama Menteri Agama dan Menteri dal am Negeri Nomor 9 dan 8 tahun 2006 tentang Pedoman Pelaksananan Tugas Kerala daerah/Wakil Kepala daerah Dama pemeliharaan Kerukunan Umat Beragama, Pemberdayaan Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, dan Pendirian Rumah Ibadah, Pasal 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 dan 9.

Penetapan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 1/PNPS Tahun 1965 tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan Dan/Atau Penodaan Agama, Lembaran Negara RI No. 3 tahúr 1965.

Peter Suwandi Wong. 2007. Kultur Bhineka Tunggal Ika, Sebagai Karakteristik bangsa Indonesia di Era Globalisasi. dalam Jurnal Stulos, VI/1.

Putra, Prakoso Barawa. 2009. Ragam Bahasa Indonesia. Tulisan Blog Pribadi, UII Yogyakarta.

Ramli, M. Guntur (2005). Kekerasan Atas Nama Fatwa. Faith Freedom. Jakarta

Ranpengan, Jimmi J. (2008), Memelihara Kerukunan Dan Memberdayakan Umat beragama FKUB”, Berita 7.

Sampere, Marina Caireta. 2011. Peace and Coexistence Education in School Settings: A Teacher Training Perspective. E-scola de Cultura de Pau Edi ci MRA, Campus UAB Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès Catalonia.

Susila Bambang Yudhoyono. 2007. Stop Konflik Komunal. Pidato Presiden dalam menyambut Delegasi DGI di Istana negara, Jakarta.

Syafirdi, Didi. 2010. SETARA Minta Kekerasan Terhadap Ahmadiyah dihentikan. Jakarta: Detik News.

Thowfeek, M.I.M. 2017. Understanding Religious Tolerance in Islamic Perspective, American National College, Sri Lanka, a Paper.

Wahidy, Abu al Hasan Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ali al, Asbab Nuzul, Dar al Kutub al Ilmiyah, 2000, Juz I,. h. 161.

[1] Penetapan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 1/PNPS tahun 1965, tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan dan/atau Penodaan Agama.

[2] Keputusan Bersama Menteri Agama dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Nomor 1 tahun 1979 tentang Tata Cara Pelaksanaan Penyiaran Agama dan Bantuan Luar Negeri Kepada lembaga Keagamaan di Indonesia.

[3] Peraturan Bersama Menteri Agama dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Nomor 9 dan 8 tahun 2006 tentang Pedoman pelaksanaan Tugas Kerala Daerah dalan Pemeliharaan Kerukunan Umat Beragama, Pemberdayaan Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, dan Pendirian Rumah Ibadah.

[4] Ridwan A Malik, Teologi Ahmadiyah, Dulu, Sekarang dan Akan Datang di Indonesia, Jurnal Penelitian, Vol 7 N0 2, STAIN Batu sangkar, Sumatra Barat, 2012.

[5] Ilham: Red, Penyergapan Mesjid di Papua, Ini Kronologi Pembakaran Masjid di Tolikara, Republika online, 17 Juli 2015.

[6] Ahwan Fanani, Konflik Islam-Kristen di Era Reformasi, Walisongo Mediation Center, UIN Walisongo Semarang, 2011.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Penetapan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 1/PNPS Tahun 1965 tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan Dan/Atau Penodaan Agama, Lembaran Negara RI Nomor 3 tahún 1965.

[9] Keputusan Bersama Menteri Agama dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Namor 1 tahun 1979 tentang Tatacara Pelaksanaan Penyiaran Agama dan bantuan Luar Negeri Kepada Lembaga keagamaan, pasal 1 ayat 1 dan 2.

[10] Peraturan Bersama Menteri Agama dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Nomor 9 dan 8 tahun 2006 tentang Pedoman Pelaksananan Tugas Kerala daerah/Wakil Kepala daerah Dama pemeliharaan Kerukunan Umat Beragama, Pemberdayaan Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, dan Pendirian Rumah Ibadah, Pasal 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 dan 9.

[11] Abu al Hasan Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ali al Wahidy, Asbab Nuzul, Dar al Kutub al Ilmiyah, 2000, Juz I,. h. 161.

[12] Muhammad fakir, Wawasan Kerukunan Beragama di Indonesia, dalam E-Journal Toleransi, UIN Suka, Vol 1 No. 2, 2009, p. 140

[13] Amar Fadzil, Religious Tolerance in Islam, Theories, Practices and Malaysia’s Experiences as a Multi Racial Society, Journal of Islam in Asia, Number 3, IIUM, Malaysia, 2011, p. 348

[14] M.I.M. Thowfeek, Understanding Religious Tolerance in Islamic Perspective, American National College, Sri Lanka, Artikel, 2017, p. 2.

[15] Stevy Maradona, Red. Di Ambon, Umat katolik dan Protestan Buka Pintu Sambut Peserta MTQ Nasional, News Republika, Republika Online, 2011.

[16] Bayu Probo, Peserta Pesparawi XI Ambon Nginap di Rumah Penduduk Muslim, Satu Harapan (Berita Online), 2015.

[17] Amar Fadzil, op.cit., p. 349

[18]Jessica Berns with Mari Fitzduff, What is Coexistence and Why a Complementary Approach, Complementary Approaches to Coexistence Work, Brandes University, 2007, p.3

[19][19] Jawa Post National Network (JPPN), Rabu 03 Februari 2010, Indonesia Miliki 1.128 Suku Bangsa, Surabaya, h. 1

[20]Prakoso Bharawa Putra, 2009, Ragam Bahasa Indonesia, Tulisan Blog Pribadi, UII Yogyakarta, h. 1

[21]Zaenal Abidin bagir dan Irwan Abdullah, 2004, Mendefinisikan Kembali Agama di Indonesia, Center for Religious and Crpss Culture Studies, UGM Yogyakarta, h. 3

[22]Jimmy J. Ranpengan, Memelihara Kerukunan Dan Memberdayakan Umat beragama FKUB”, Berita 7,  2008.

[23]Pradipta, Budya. 2009, Sumpah Palapa, Cikal Bakal Gagasan NKRI‖. Makalah Seminar Perpustakaan Nasional, Jakarta, 15 Mei 2009.

[24]Peter Suwandi Wong, 2007, Kultur Bhineka Tunggal Ika, Sebagai Karakteristik bangsa Indonesia di Era Globalisasi, dalam Jurnal Stulos, VI/1, h. 82.

[25]Didi Syafirdi, 2010, SETARA Minta Kekerasan Terhadap Ahmadiyah dihentikan, Detik News. Jakarta. h. 1.

[26]M. Guntur Ramli, 2005, Kekerasan Atas Nama Fatwa, FaithFreedom. Jakarta

[27]HM. Natsir, 2010, Pemicu Konflik Komunal di NTB, Oknum Aparat Keamanan diduga Berpihak, Press Release, Mataram, NTB., h. 2

[28]Muhammad Natsir, 2010, Presentasi Penelitian Tentang Pemicu Konflik Komunal di NTB, kerjasama Polda Mataram-Unram, Mataram.

[29]Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Stop Konflik Komunal, Pidato Presiden dalam menyambut Delegasi DGI di Istana negara, Jakarta, 2007.

[30]Silvia Haryani, Kerja Sama Kontra-Terorisme Indonesia-Australia: Perbandingan antara Masa Pemerintahan Megawati Soekarnoputri dan Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Jurnal Masyarakat, Kebudayaan dan Politik, Th. XXI. No. 4, Oktober–Desember 2008, 352–360, p.355.

[31] Asep Adi Saputra, Korban Kejahatan Terorisme; Ketika Negara Kurang Berperan, Tesis Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik, Departemen Kriminologi, PPS, Depok, 2008, p. 54.

[32] Ibid., p. 55

[33] Mubarak, Stigmatisasi Pemberitaan Terorisme di Media Massa, Tesis Master Ilmu Komunikasi, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, 2010. p. 57.

[34] Penetapan Presiden Republik Indonesia No. 1/PNPS Tahun 1965 Pasal 1.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Joint Decree Between Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, Number 1 Year 1979, Pasal 3.

[37] Ibid., pal 4 point a

[38] Ibid., pal 4 point b.

[39] Joint Decree Between Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, Number 9 and 8, Year 2006, Article Number 1, point 1.

[40]Hanna Onyi Yusuf, Promoting Peaceful Co-Existence and Religious Tolerance through Supplementary Readers and Reading Comprehension Passages in Basic Education Curriculum, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 3 No. 8 [Special Issue – April 2013] , Ahmad Bello University, Nigeria,  p. 225.

[41]Marina Caireta Sampere, Peace and Coexistence Education in School Settings: A Teacher Training Perspective,E scola de Cultura de Pau Edi ci MRA, Campus UAB Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès Catalonia, 2011, p. 16.

[42] Ibid., p. 226.

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