Mahfud MD: The Adherent of Every Religion Must Be Treated Equally

The Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Moh. Mahfud MD, is shaking hands with the Secretary General of International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS), KH Hasyim Muzadi.

Jakarta, MKOnline - “Basically, we support President Obama’s policy which authorizes mosque construction around Ground Zero because it is in accordance with the constitution,” said Mahfud MD in the press conference “Dukungan ICIS Terhadap Kebijakan Pemerintah Amerika Serikat (AS) Dalam Pendirian Masjid di Ground Zero (AS)” (“ICIS Support for the Policy of the United States (US) Government on Mosque Construction in Ground Zero (US)”) in ICIS building, Jakarta, on Thursday (9/23).

Mahfud, who is a member of the Expert Team of International Law and Human Rights of ICIS, said that in accordance with Obama’s oath of office, the first thing that he must do is to abide by the constitution, because the Constitution and UN International Conventions stated that freedom of religion is the most fundamental right and may not be violated by a state.

“Under any condition, the state must protect the freedom of the religious adherents. The adherents of every religion must be treated equally,” said Mahfud who was accompanied by, among others the Secretary General of ICIS, K.H. Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi, and the Director of ICIS, Nasihin Hasan.   

Mahfud considered that Obama, in the context of performing his duties as the President of the United States, has taken correct stance. Although, as a consequence of Obama’s standing, his political popularity among the citizens of the United States was, in fact, declined.

“In the context of Indonesia, it is constitutionally clear that religion is a personal issue of each person and may not be intervened by any party, because such intervention would be in violation of Law No. 39 Year 1999 concerning Human Rights,” Mahfud explained.

Meanwhile, Hasyim Muzadi said that the policy of the United States government for authorizing mosque construction around Ground Zero deserved an appreciation from all Islam communities.

“Because the mosque construction shows that the government of the United States, under the leadership of Barrack Obama, has expressly distinguished terrorism from religion. It is in line with President Obama’s address in Cairo on the relationship between the Western world and Islam,” Muzadi explained.

With respect to another issue, Muzadi also responded to a number of conflicts which appeared to be based on religions in Indonesia. According to Muzadi, conflicts of this kind do not necessarily religion-oriented.

“However, there are many non-religious factors which are often regarded as religious elements,” said Muzadi. (Nano Tresna A/Koen)

Friday, September 24, 2010 | 08:47 WIB 282