Viewpoints of Prominent PKS Parliamentarians on the Future Development of PKS in Indonesia

May 19, 2012 by Dr. Farish A. Noor


Page 11

Q: Fahri Hamzah (of PKS) said the same thing when I interviewed him as well!

ZM: Its true though- Indonesian society remains wary of such violent rhetoric and no political party can ever come to power in a democratic system through threats and intimidation.

 

Q: So to look at the state of violence in Indonesia today, what about the PKS’s position on groups like the Ahmadis (Ahmadiyyas) who have come under attack recently? As you know, there have been more and more church burnings, Christians are complaining of being wantonly victimised, and then there are the Ahmadis who have been attacked, their mosques taken from them, and their members killed. What is PKS’s stand on this?

ZM: We (the PKS) are totally and unreservedly opposed to all forms of violence, whoever the targets may be. We are a political party, and so we want to win political power. How can you ever claim to be a national party when you go around persecuting minorities? The groups you mentioned have no political aspirations on the national level. They just cause trouble and break the law to make a point, but sadly when they do that in the name of religion then all Islamist groups get a bad image too. But we as a party have zero tolerance for violence.

 

Q: Yes but as you said, even the PKS cannot control all of its members. What if one or more of them join in these attacks against religious minority groups? How do you deal with that? I mean, what sort of built-in institutional or organisational safeguards do you have to prevent members of PKS from slipping into radicalism?

ZM: We do, in fact, have standard operational procedures that are followed in such instances, which also apply in any other case when any member breaks our code of conduct. PKS’s cadre system is one with internal checks and balances where the errant behaviour of any member, of whatever level or status, is first reported. The report is then checked and then an investigation will take place to verify the report. In the most extreme cases the case is brought up to the PKS’s Dewan Sharia (Shariah Council); and this applies to cases of misbehaviour or members who go against party directives. So no, though we are a community in PKS and we do encourage our members to think for themselves, its not a free-for-all either.

On issues like the Ahmadiyyah minority, we expect the members of PKS to abide by the party’s ruling. At no point is any member allowed to take the law into his own hands.