Hard on the heels of Thailand which has resurrected legislation to impose the death penalty for corruption, muslim clerics in Indonesia, are joining the same chorus.
"Muslim clerics across the nation have urged law enforcement agencies and courts to be steadfast in dealing with corruption and money laundering, and to be bold enough to hand down death sentences to those found guilty of corruption.
Religious leaders from the country's largest Islamic organization NU, having 90,000,000 followers, said corruption and money laundering were extraordinary crimes against humanity because of their adverse impact on the nation, state and community: "We clerics are in favour of the death penalty if conditions are supportive and requirements are met" NU board chairman for legal affairs, Ahmed Ishomuddin told media in Yogyakarta. "Among the requirements are if corrupption and money laundering are committed at a time when the country is in peril during economic or social crises, or committed repeatedly" he added.
Meanwhile, Umar Faroeq, another leader said that clerics also studied about the death penalty handed down to corrupt people from the viewpoint of Muslim clerics long ago: "It exists in the Maliki and Hanafi Islamic teaching schools, and the condition is very clear, that is, when it is done repeatedly" said Umar. He added that an edict on the death penalty for corrupt people had not been issued by clerics from long ago becuase they were very careful and paid attention to aspects of human rights. "But now we are in a time of crisis and it's time to implement it" he added."
Jakarta Post, 30th July
The argument that the death penalty is part of Islamic teaching "long ago" is to appeal to a religion that ignores cultural and historic development, condemning us to a tribal morality of the past. All religions suffer the temptation to be locked in an imagined past, leading to the disaster of religious intoleraance, and, in particular, the survival of the death penalty. In fact there are traditions that the founders of the great religions, Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim, personally eschewed penalty of death. Today, we reject the death penalty because it is inhuman, because a modern justice regime provides other sanctions to executions ineffective in deterring crime. It is disappointing that Indonesian Muslim organizations, professing to be progressive, are retrograde on the issue of Capital Punishment.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Government remains intransigent on the case of Mary Jane Veloso:
"The Attorney General's Office (AGO) announced on Wednesday that it was unlikely that legal proceedings in the Philippines would prevent the death seentence of convicted Filipino drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso. The government would not respond to requests to free Veloso who had been proven to have smuggled heroin into the country"
Jakarta Post, 30th July