MUI wants 'problematic' articles in campus sexual violence regulation removed

CNN Indonesia – November 11, 2021
Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI) Chairperson Cholil Nafis – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The chairperson of the country's peak Islamic body, the Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI), Cholil Nafis, is asked for the removal of problematic articles in the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister's (Permendikbudristek) Regulation Number 30/2021 on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Violence on Higher Education Institutions.

Nafis explained that Article 5 Paragraph 2 of the regulation is problematic because it is based on the concept of "with the victim's consent".

"The Permendikbudristek Number 30/2021 Article 5 Paragraph 2 on sexual violence is indeed problematic because its benchmark is the agreement (consent) of the victim... remove it", Nafis said on his personal Twitter account @cholilnafis on Wednesday November 10.

As has been reported, Article 5 of the regulation stipulates the formulation of the norms on sexual violence. This includes actions carried out verbally, non-physically, physically and through information and communication technology.

Meanwhile Paragraph 2 of the article explains several points on forms of sexual violence covering things done "without consent".

It is the phrase "without consent" in the regulation that has attracted protest from various groups. Nafis believes that sexual crimes according to the norms of the state ideology of Pancasila are based on religion or belief.

"So not on the basis of mutual consent but because it is [or is not] permitted under Islamic law. Remove it", said Nafis.

The MUI is proposing that several formulations under Article 5 Paragraph 2 need to be changed or improved.

This includes Article 5 Paragraph 2 Point b which stipulates that "intentionally displaying ones genitalia without the victim's consent". The MUI want this phrase changed to "intentionally displaying ones genitals to the victim".

The grounds for the change to this point is because victims in sexual violence crimes and or all victims of crimes are never asked for their consent to become victims of a crime.

Then Article 5 Paragraph 2 Point f which reads, "taking, recording, and/or circulating photographs and/or audio and/or visual recordings which have a sexual nuance without the victim's consent", which could be changed to "taking, recording, and/or circulating photographs and/or audio and/or visual recordings which have a sexual nuance".

The MUI says this point must be changed because the entire process of producing material which has a sexual nuance is from the start never agreed to by the potential victim.

In addition to this the MUI is also proposing that Article 5 Paragraph 2, Points g, h, l and m all loose the phrase "without the victim's consent". This is because the preceding sentences already cover the elements of a crime or sexual violence.

Earlier on August 31, Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim issued Permendikbudristek Number 30/2021, which has attracted controversy from several parties.

Aside from the MUI, criticism has also come from the Islamic mass organisation Muhammadiyah who believe there are formal and material problems with the regulation.

One of these is because there are article which they consider to mean legalising free sex on campus. The Education Ministry however has denied that the regulation legalises free sex activities on campus. (rzr/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI Minta Pasal Bermasalah Permendikbud soal Kekerasan Seks Dicabut".]