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Indonesia fights for its soul

Shinta Ratri sitting on the floor, on the terrace of their wooden house, they opened the big blue book and recited line for line. Your Arabic is a little bumpy, but she's your teacher. He sits opposite her and improved patient, if you stay with the Sure stuck somewhere.

Koran teaching on the island of Java: the religious schools are called in Indonesia, Pesantren, there are tens of thousands of them in the island state, they Believe and teach millions of children, but also many adults in the Islamic. Only that it will have the students gather under the roof of Shinta Ratri in the historical centre of Yogyakarta, not easy to do with the teaching of Islam is familiar to you. Conservative Muslims protest that these people have lost in their Islamic community, they ostracize people like Shinta Ratri as a sinner, what can not understand it. Where she does everything in order to be a good Muslim.

A place in Islam

The 58-Year-old of their opponents not to be swayed. Every weekend they gathered in their small community, which includes about 40 members, with a half-dozen lives in it as in a boarding school. Ibu Shinta, what do you call a TRANS-woman and leads a Koranic school for transgendered people.

as far as you know, this is the only facility of this kind in Indonesia, and possibly in the world. Ibu Shinta told with Pride, she sounds like a pioneer. "Every person has a need for spirituality," she says. "And I firmly believe that we, as Transgender people have a place in Islam."

Nearly 90 percent of the 268 million inhabitants of Indonesia are Muslims. On Wednesday, the citizens of the multiethnic state that extends from the island of Sumatra in the West to Papua in the East to choose a new President. The incumbent, Joko Widodo came up five years ago as a shirt-sleeved Reformer and Star of the youth to Power, he has good chances to secure a second term against Challenger, Ex-General Prabowo Subianto,.

However, it is striking that both candidates are very anxious to agree to collect among conservative Muslims. No politician who wants to fight for majorities in this country, can afford to seem to be to operate to the Religion over the election campaign.

politicians try fromm

All the leading politicians want to be perceived as pious Muslims, they have internalized that with the religious sentiments of followers to mobilize. "Islam has become the center of society," says Munirul Ikhwan, a religious scholar at the University of UIN in Yogyakarta. "And the conservative religious currents have become stronger."

For Gay, lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in the country, this means increasing Stress and uncertainty. There is always hatred, attacks on LGBT groups, even if Ibu Shinta says that they will be fine. Your wooden house in the old city acts as a refuge. You come to learn to cook, and to pray. And to discuss the Worries of everyday life. The school is financed from contributions of members and donations.

of rejection and hate

Every Sunday, a religion scholar, to instruct in the Koran, sometimes he brings students with that help. So you know popular, you have the feeling of belonging. But this is only one side of your life, often, rejection or hatred. The school thus acts as a Barometer of the degree of tolerance. If this teaching survived, it would be a good sign for the pluralism and the rule of law in Indonesia.

But the opponents do not let go of what is symptomatic of these times, in which the conservative Islamic camp gaining strength. The multi-ethnic state, wrestling with his soul, liberal and conservative currents collide, especially in Yogyakarta, where progressive groups and the circles of Muslim hard-line stalking. Radicals want to distinguish themselves as guardians of Islam, and you try to do this by mood against sexual minorities. So hate posters and hateful messages appeared prior to the election: "It is halal, if LGBT people to be killed," was a.

Attacks preventing

For Ibu Shinta and her students for such hostility are not new, particularly the threat it was in 2016, when dozens of radicals after Friday prayers with their motorcycles pulled up and requested, the school must immediately close, because they all sinned. God had created only men and women, they claimed that Transgender could never include in the circle of creditors Muslims.

The police stepped in and prevented the Attacks, the Governor's wife made the school strong, human rights activists intervened, the school was able to fend off the attack. But the shock was sitting deep, and the Concerns are not passed, even if all of the try, left to deal with it.

The Qur'an teacher Lolihul Amin al Ma’is a man with a thoughtful voice. In front of the other he has to justify himself sometimes that he comes to the Transgender. "There is no reason these people from Islam to exclude," he says. Finally, all people are a gift from God. "Anyone who follows Transgender, has simply not studied long enough in the Koran," says the scholar, with views of the hardliners.

hate posters and hateful messages appeared: "It is halal, if LGBT people to be killed."

It's not just the noisy rioters, against sexual minorities, mood, even the Supreme Muslim Council in Indonesia is in the choir, he wants to criminalize, especially homosexuals. In 2015, he has outlawed in a Fatwa of the same Sex, in severe cases, even the death penalty recommended. However, homosexuality is according to Indonesian law, not punishable, an exception alone, the ultra-conservative province of Aceh, where Sharia law applies, and Gay and lesbian people to be publicly flogged.

In Indonesia, the names of the Transgender Waria, a term derived from the mixture of the words for man and woman. In the Javanese culture they had for centuries their place, they took about roles in the traditional theatre, Ludruk. In the meantime, but a lot of lives on the margins of society. The Transgender in school can all of the discrimination to tell, often you can find no fixed Jobs, some of the hoof as a street vendor, door-to-door, others work in hairdressing salons or Bars, the danger in Prostitution slipping, is large.

for full

"The worst of it is that you will be intellectually respected, no one takes it seriously, when I say my opinion or have an idea," says Jessica Ayu Lesmana. "This is even worse than the discrimination that we experience because of our body." As Ibu Shinta, the 26-Year-old is a TRANS woman. Born in a male body, she felt already as a small child, as a woman's and girls ' dresses dressed. Her parents seemed to accept it at first, unlike her brothers, she had to then also perform that were traditionally transferred to Working girls. Clean, wash, help in the kitchen, while the brothers played. Later, when she was grown up, no longer the parents were then in agreement, the relationship deteriorated. She took hormones Breasts grew. But a sex-change operation by a surgeon has not done so far. "This fails on the money." Other TRANS women tell, that they were Shy to operate, because Allah had created them, but with a male body, even if you feel all the time as women.

woman and woman

Ibu Shinta says that TRANS men were still withdrawn as a TRANS women, in your school, you rarely come. Jessica Ayu Lesmana is, after all, sometimes in the mosque to Pray, she has no problem with this, other Transgender. You are to put on the front of the men, where you cant be seen? Or rather back to the women, then where is whispered? "In our school, many feel more relaxed," says Ibu Shinta.

late in The afternoon-one by one-have read in the Qur'an, now they are gathering for evening prayer in the interior of the house. The front of the knees of the teacher and the students behind them, the TRANS women who have thrown over silk robes. So you look up to Allah in the direction of Mecca, and pray to the Almighty. On the back wall are two carved sculptures of the guards. Traditionally, the Javanese houses, a man and a woman. Loro Blonyono – the inseparable Pair. In the case of Ibu Shinta, there are woman and woman, the smile of pride to the prayer room.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 15.04.2019, 20:11 PM

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