Symbols and Intolerance of Yogyakarta at the Crossroads

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ARRAHMAH.CO.ID –

A Catholic resident dies in Kotagede, Yogyakarta. When he was about to be buried, his family was not allowed to put a cross on his grave. Finally, the deceased family cut the tip of the cross. Be the tomb bernisan like the letter T only.

Families are also not allowed to hold a prayer spirit at his home. Finally, it was agreed that the spirit prayer was held in the Pringgolayan Church.

The tomb used was reportedly indeed a public cemetery. But the tomb is in the process of becoming a Muslim cemetery. Of course it was considered inappropriate, suddenly a cross appeared between Muslim graves.

Understandable. They are only one of three Christian families from one RT with 150 families. In numerical logic, the three should succumb. Then the deceased family makes a stamped statement. They stated that they did not object to the cutting of the cross.

Done? Maybe.

Only the problem won't be finished on the crossstone. For those who understand, the symbol of the cross in Christianity is diverse.

There is also a cross shaped like the letter T, known as “crux commissa.” This T cross is also known as the Tau cross. The cross of this model is also known as the Cross of Saint Anthony or the Cross of Saint Francis.

Priests from the Franciscan Order, for example, wear this T-shaped cross everywhere. They are generally brown robes with pockets on their backs (which are actually headgear); and bersandal. The priests usually wear T-shaped wooden crosses. That is the crux commissa or the Tau Cross.

The symbol of Christianity is very diverse. Early Christians, when they were still underground, used various symbols to communicate. What they use most often is pictures of fish. That is the symbol of ichthys or ichthus (/ ˈɪkθəs /), two curved lines above and below so as to form a fish symbol.

For several centuries Christianity was a subversive religion. They must gather in hidden places, underground passages of the city of Rome. That's where many fish symbols appear. However, after Christianity became public and practiced openly, the symbol of the cross began to be adopted. Its use is also widespread.

I just want to show that it is not too easy to reduce Christianity to a symbol. Likewise other religions.

But there is a problem that is more substantial than just a symbol. Namely: how should we understand the actions that prohibit symbols such as those carried out in Purbayan, Kotagede, Yogyakarta?

The answer often given is that this occurs because of an increase in intolerance in our society. For me, answers like this are easy answers to complicated problems. He does not touch the real problem, namely why does this intolerance arise?

That is also why we deal with this problem in a relatively easy way.

We always cheer if there are figures who we consider tolerant. Even being a tolerant figure, the standard is not too high. People are called tolerant if they diligently visit a place of worship that is not their belief. Or diligently speaking in the media condemning intolerance.

Tolerance “supporters” are touched by the blue when the church provides parking spaces for people who are praying Ied. A thing that in normal times is reasonable becomes special in an unfavorable situation.

The industry of “interfaith dialogue” thrives. There are thousands of seminars and congresses held to increase tolerance.

Do not forget, we will mention that our country's slogan is “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” as we cast a spell that will cure intolerance.

But we never question why do people become intolerant? Why are people uncomfortable with differences?

For me, this event in Yogyakarta is a symbol. Namely, the symbol of a society that is seriously ill. This is a symptom of an acute social disease. The treatment is not easy.

Most people in our society feel that they are victims. They experience setbacks and they are under threat.

Today the majority of our society is experiencing collective fear. In response to this fear, the only thing they could do was get into his tribal group, into his flock. It is this fear that gives birth to attacks on whatever is considered not included in the herd.

This kind of thing happens evenly in all communities. This does not happen exclusively in the Muslim or Christian community. But in almost all communities.

This problem requires us to dig deeper. What causes people to be afraid of differences? Why don't people want to get out of the gang community? What is happening and changing in our society?

Intolerance does not just happen. I do not believe intolerance occurs because of the teachings of religion or the belief system that someone adheres to. The Abrahamic religions (which I know) are very rich with the suggestion to kill people who do not believe in their religion.

But in many societies, people can live side by side for centuries without having to kill each other because of different religions. Even if there is murder in the name of religion, generally what happens is murder that seeks religious justification but its basic basis is economic and political interests of power.

I think the roots are in our economic-political problems. Our failures build a system where everyone can move forward and not feel alienated and victimized.

Our politicians choose to exploit fear and advance this herd mentality. Because this is the easiest way to rule.

To find out whether a community is sick or healthy, ask this question: Do people prefer their homes to be flood free, their children well educated, their health guaranteed or do they prioritize leaders who come from herd?

In this campaign period, we often hear that poverty is currently the lowest in history. Maybe yes. But that's not the case.

What happens if you graduate from high school with the best grades and you feel called to become a doctor but can't because you can't compete with those who can pay hundreds of millions to enter medical school? What happens if you are a graduate of civil engineer and then only the work of an online motorcycle taxi driver is available to you?

What happens if you are a military officer who is loyal to the task and wrestles with your battlefield but your career stagnates just because you don't have connections in the elite in Jakarta?

What happens if you only graduate from high school? What jobs are available for you except to be migrant workers in Hong Kong, Taiwan or in the Middle East? You already feel lucky even if you have to work for 3 years without holidays and the passport is held by a labor agent but can bring several tens of millions of rupiah back to the village. What happens when you cannot become a TKI? There are no fields that can be pawned to pay agents?

Our economic system fails to guarantee that there is a future and an opportunity for everyone to move forward. People need future security not to live in fear. The herd mentality arises from such fear.

You need not be surprised if this problem of intolerance arises in areas such as Yogyakarta. This is one of the cities with the highest social inequality in Indonesia. Ask the indigenous people of Yogyakarta, do they enjoy all the hotels and the tourism industry and the education industry in this city?

Intolerance arises out of fear. And that fear arises because there is no hope for the future. And, the future is very bleak for most of those who do not live in the elite layer of this country.

These people are not partying. All political parties are controlled by elites. All political parties fight for elite interests.

None of our politicians discuss social inequalities that are increasingly acute in our society. They happily call a single digit poverty number but they forget that one digit does not say anything about most people who have no future. People whose vertical mobility is down, not upward.

What we learn from Yogyakarta is not intolerance to the symbol of the cross as a gravestone. Our main lesson is the intolerance of our ignorant, greedy and unlimited political and economic elites.

This Article Was Published On : ISLAMI.CO

Translated by Google Translate

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