Pancasila often defeated by cases of intolerance says Setara Institute

CNN Indonesia – June 1, 2023
Students in Bandung make national flag to take part Pancasila Day – June 1, 2023 (Antara)

Jakarta – Reflecting on the values of the state ideology Pancasila, Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy Executive Director Halili Hasan says that they are often defeated by the cases of intolerance that have occurred recently in Indonesia.

"Pancasila is often defeated in various cases of intolerance and in general violations of freedom of religion and belief (KBB)", said Hasan in a statement on Thursday June 1.

Hasan said that cases of intolerance and violations of freedom of religion and belief have continued to increase. Not only that, the fulfillment of human rights is still not in an ideal state.

Hasan noted that in May there were several incidents of intolerance and violations of freedom of religion and belief.

These include the disbanding of a congregation of worshipers from the Mawar Sharon Church (GMS) in Binjai city, North Sumatra, the disbanding of services at the Gihon Bethel Indonesia Church (GBI) in East Sidomulyo Village, Pekanbaru City, Riau, and the disbanding of Christian religious education activities at the Indonesian Bethel Church (GBI) in Cilame Village, West Bandung, West Java.

Then just two days ago, there was the torching of a study hall belonging to the Islamic mass organisation Muhammadiyah in the Sangso Village, Samalanga district, Bireuen regency, Aceh, on Tuesday May 30.

"In the various incidents of intolerance and violations of KBB, the values of Pancasila, especially the first principle, are more often defeated and sacrificed by the state officials themselves", he said.

Hasan also alluded to the results of research conducted by the Setara Institute showing that high school-based teenage intolerance is increasing.

A survey by the Setara Institute in five selected cities between January and February showed that the number of actively intolerant students in senior high school and its equivalent has increased to 5 percent.

This figure is an increase compared with the results of a survey on the same issue in 2016 when it stood at 2.4 percent.

"Meanwhile those exposed to violent extremism also increased from 0.3 percent in the 2016 survey to 0.6 percent in the 2023 survey", he said.

Hasan then strongly criticised the numerous incidents of intolerance and violations of the right to religion and belief that have occurred. Moreover, there are allegations of omission by the state in these cases.

In his view, these cases could have been prevented and properly resolved if the government had taken a proactive approach and not yielded to pressure from intolerant groups.

"The increase in the level of intolerance and exposure to violent extremism by the younger generation, in the Setara Institute's view, demonstrates the still poor performance of the grounding and actualisation of Pancasila values", said Hasan. (rzr/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Setara Institute: Pancasila Sering Dikalahkan dalam Kasus Intoleransi".]