Hegemony to the East by the East

I used to learn about Western hegemony that people always discuss about. People think that Western has come to Easter value and give a huge impact that can influence, or even worse, kill the origin value. Let’s talk about Bali. As one of the most visiting tourism destinations in Indonesia, Bali has become an island that influenced by Western value. Balinese people starts to live a Western lifestyle, even though they still keep their cultures with them. The Western value is deniable in Balinese urban living. When I was in my fourth semester in university, I did some small research with my group about the effect of hegemony in Sanur, Bali. Yes, the result was some people preferred to be like West. But now I am not gonna talk about how Western hegemony, but I am going to talk about Easter hegemony.


Well, as the biggest Muslim population country in the world, most people in Indonesia are Muslim. Unfortunately, I do not say all, but some of them are really into Arab. They live like Arab, and speak like Arab, they want to be Arabians. I want to give a brief story in my place, Lombok. Students, especially women, are ‘forced’ to cover their hairs on school. Contrary after school, some of them (not all of them) turn into something different, wearing shorts or hot pants. We have that stereotype that nice people can be seen through what they wear not what is within. This is totally wrong perception.

This hegemony every single day becomes stronger. A few months ago, some ‘covered' women went into public. Their purpose was to tell people to ban ‘konde’, Indonesian traditional hairstyle for woman. They argued woman to start cover their body because they believe that God asked them to do that. Day by day, this country sounds like Arab instead of being Indonesia, which has so many beautiful cultures and traditions.

I read an article about Sultan Johor. Sultan Johor was interviewed by the media and he told the media about his point of view on seeing this Eartern hegemony. Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan of Johor said:

"My customs and traditions as a Malay because I'm born Malay. If there are some of you who wish to be an Arab and practise Arab culture, and do not wish to follow our Malay customs and traditions, that is up to you. I also welcome you to live in Saudi Arabia. That is your right but I believe there are Malays who are proud of the Malay culture. At least I am real and not a hypocrite and the people of Johor know who their ruler is."

I do respect this leader, even though he is Muslim, he realised that Malaysian have their own values that they have to maintain. He added that some people refused to shake hand with their opposite sex, but he made it clear that it was not Malayu culture. If you were Malayu, you would shake people hand. Because it is the culture of Malayu.

To be honest, those people that practice Arab’s values do not bother me at all. I just feel a bit worried about the idea to make an Arab state in Indonesia. We do have Aceh already, a province that happen to practice Muslim system in their law. Woman and man are not allowed to be together in the public if they are not legally binding. If they did, they would get punishment. But, that is their right, so I prefer to stay away with them.

I believe the idea of making an Arab state in Indonesia would never happen. Since it would never happen, it would lead to radicalism. People will start doing terror, going insane, killing innocent people that they believe ‘do not have religion’, as if they have right to do that. I am pretty sad to see youth in Indonesia starts to be radical. They believe that Indonesia should be khalifah state instead of being Indonesia, a country that rich in diversity and living in harmony. So for you who read this, you have to start thinking, do you worry about Western hegemony or Easter hegemony?

I believe that Arab is not living in the past, but those people, who want to be like Arab, wanted to back in Muslim glory time. They want to build a state, if I can say, by doing genocide other people that do not have the same religion with them. This is actually my personal opinion, nothing to be generalized. I love Indonesia, we are on the right path.

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