This campaign occurs as a reaction from citizens toward the book burning of 216 copies of “5 Cities that Ruled the World” by Douglas Wilson at the backyard of Bentara Budaya, Gramedia area on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 and in Cakung (West Java), Surabaya, Makassar, and Pekanbaru.
This Letter of Protest is started as an initiative from Ninus D. Ardanuswari, Damar Juniarto, Fahri Salam, Megi Margiyono, Lisabona Rahman, right after the book burning. The letter ask the society to refuse obeying the restriction on freedom of opinion and expression for a better Indonesia by declaring STOP BURNING BOOKS and expressing a protest to Gramedia, MUI, FPI, and Polri that let the book burning incidents happened.
Right now we have gather 350 people's support to sign this petition letter and we kindly ask international support to highlight this issue. You can also support our petition by signing the letter. In near future, we will publish Press Release.
Kami, warga negara Indonesia, mengajukan protes keras atas tindakan pembakaran 216 eksemplar buku “5 Kota Paling Berpengaruh di Dunia” karya Douglas Wilson di halaman belakang Bentara Budaya, kompleks Gramedia, Jakarta pada hari Rabu, 13 Juni 2012 serta pembakaran buku yang sama di Cakung (Jawa Barat), Surabaya, Semarang, Makassar, dan Pekanbaru.
Bacalah isi Surat Petisi Stop Bakar Buku selengkapnya dengan klik pada bagian "Surat Petisi" sebelum tanda tangan sebagai bentuk persetujuan kamu atas protes ini. Jika memerlukan membaca apa alasan perlunya mendukung aksi Stop Bakar Buku ini, silakan membaca tulisan ini: Perlunya Dukung Stop Bakar Buku
Sebarluaskan kepada teman, sahabat, atau siapapun kenalan Anda yang bisa membantu memperluas dukungan bagi pernyataan protes ini. Protes ini adalah sebuah "alarm" untuk memberitahukan ada bahaya kemunculan kembali pelarangan/pembakaran buku di negeri ini bila didiamkan begitu saja.
Ikuti perkembangan kampanye Stop Bakar Buku ini lewat twitter dengan tanda pagar (hashtag) #StopBakarBuku
To: Suwandi S Brata (PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama), KH Ma’ruf Amin (Indonesian Islam Leader Council), Habib Rizieq Syihab (Islamic Defenders Front), General Timur Pradopo (Indonesian National Police) and related parties that directly or indirectly involved in the book burning at the backyard of Gramedia Publisher’s office on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
We, the Indonesian citizens, put forward a strong protest to the book burning incident of 216 copies of “5 Cities that Ruled the World” by Douglas Wilson at the backyard of Bentara Budaya, Gramedia area, Jakarta on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 and in Cakung (West Java), Surabaya, Makassar, and Pekanbaru
The books were burned following the previous incidents:
- A reader’s letter titled “5 Cities that Ruled the World Book is Misleading”, written by Syahruddin to Republika daily newspaper on Friday, June 8, 2012. Syahruddin, admit himself as a Depok citizen, objected the content of the book on page 24, “Next he (Muhammad) married some other women. He became a robber and a pirate, ordered invasions to Mecca caravans,” and “Muhammad ordered a series of murders to gain the control of Medina, and in 630 M he conquered Mecca.”
- An apology from Gramedia Director Suwandi S Brata as the representative of Gramedia Publisher to all Moslems in Indonesia on Republika daily newspapers due to their negligence and a promise to withdraw all the 3,000 exemplars of books. On Saturday, June 9, 2012 there was an order to withdraw all the books by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
- A report from FPI members to Metro Jaya Provincial Police (Polda) on Monday, June 11, 2012 under No LP/1985/VI/2012/PMJ/Ditreskrimum regarding “the humiliation of a religion” by Gramedia publisher.
- A request from Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to Gramedia on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 to destroy the books.
As a response to the incidents, we decide to break the silence by speaking our objections:
1). The Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI) suggestion to Gramedia to destroy the books reflected fascist attitude from a religion institution in this democratic country. Book burning is an act that ruins intellectual property, cultural richness, and moral as well as a bad example illustrates that misunderstanding is solved by destruction.
2). Gramedia’s attitude that agreed the book burning solution as suggested by MUI as a way to avoid terror and threat from FPI was eventually a way to preserve the terror itself. All this time, the terror and threat are sustainable and having long-term effects for Indonesian people. Now that Gramedia publisher chooses to obey the suggestion, other publishers in Indonesia can be affected by the decision as well.
3). Islamic Defenders Front (FPO), who reported the content of the book to the police alleging “the humiliation of a religion”, needs to accustom themselves to be open-minded and mature whenever they disagree with a content of a book instead of threatening, terrorizing, and repressing other parties.
4). Indonesian National Police (POLRI) should not keep silent and let the threat in the form of a terror from one party to another party happened. In legal proceeding, both of the dispute parties, which were Gramedia and FPI, had rights to get protection from the police, not biased as happened in this book burning incident. The police must be able to prevent the book burning as the evidence of the uphold supremacy of law to hooliganism.
5). Since October 2010, the book restriction mechanism is ruled by law in which only the court can determine whether a book is harmful or not, and order a book withdrawal from circulation. The unilateral withdrawal of a book followed by a book burning were clearly did not heed the legal proceeding.
6). FPI used Article 156 KUHP (haatzai artikelen or inciting hatred) regarding “humiliation” with the minimum nominal sentence that can be imposed is five years, which can be used from time to time to criminalize any different opinions, and book publishing is no exception. We urge the government to immediately revise the articles that fetter the freedom of thinking and opinion according to the Constitution.
Hereby, our protest and respond letter, the Indonesian citizen, who refuse to obey the restriction on freedom of opinion and expression for a better Indonesia, by declaring STOP BURNING BOOKS.
Jakarta, June 14, 2012