Discussion on the relationship between Islam and human rights is not a new subject. However, this topic remains an interesting subject because the development of Islam, either as a religious phenomenon or as social and political phenomena, is constantly connected to the issue of human rights. In the context of Indonesian Islam, the connection between Islam and human rights has been developing in interesting ways because of the changing political atmosphere in the post-New Order following the fall of Suharto, the former president of Indonesia, from his office on May 21, 1998. Scholars Arskal Salim and Azyumardi Azra find at least four significant developments in the Muslim society in the post-New Order era that are connected with human rights, either on the discourse level or on the practical level.
The first development mentioned by Salim and Azra is the replacement of Pancasila with Islam as the dominant party ideology. Following this change, Islam-based parties, such as Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) and Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB) diligently offered discourses on Islamic shari’ah. PPP and PBB have been very persistent in trying to amend the Constitution of 1945 with the inclusion of seven words: “dengan kewajiban melaksanakan syariat Islam bagi pemeluknya,” which means “with the obligation to observe Islamic shari’ah for its adherents.” PPP and PBB claim that if these seven words were included, Islamic shari’ah would officially have constitutional status in the national legal system. The agenda promoted by PPP and PBB failed in the Indonesian legislature (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (MPR) or the People Consultative Assembly) in 2000, 2001, and 2003…
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