Indonesian Hindus raise concern over Prohibition bill

Muslim majority Indonesia is also home to strong Hindu and Christian minorities.

Indonesia's Hindu leaders have objected to a bill that seeks to impose prohibition in the country.

Indonesia's House of Representatives plans to hold public hearing for a bill that seeks to abolish alcohol sales, consumption and production in the Muslim country.

Hindu leaders the bill would hurt Indonesia's cultural diversity and religious tolerance, according to Today Online.

"They would prefer the bill to be more about regulation and control, instead of a blanket ban on [alcoholic] beverages," said Aryo P.S. Djojohadikusumo, the deputy chairman of the House committee discussing the bill.

Hindu leaders are particularly concerned about the impact of prohibition in the tourism industry of Bali, which is Hindu majority. The Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), the apex Hindu organisation in the country, said the bill poses threat to Indonesia's cultural fabric.

Muslim majority Indonesia is also home to strong Hindu and Christian minorities as we all as numeroous minority splinters within Islam.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslim form 87 percent of the population, making it the most populous Muslim country in the world. Christian are 7 percent and Hindus form 1.7 percent.

Rise of radical Islam

The rise of radical Islam in recent years has created a wedge between communities, driving a sense of insecurity among religious minorities.

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) is in the forefront of hardline anti-minority groups that have been waging a one-sided battle against minorities, burning down their places of worship and forcing harsh sharia laws.

The government and police forces have largely remained aloof even as harldliners launched attacks on the minorities, Reuters reported in October, citing experts.

Ian Wilson of Murdoch University, who tracks the FPI, told the agency the government's failure in controlling the radical elements has left the religious minorities vulnerable.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat said the bill is "chaotic and needs refinement" and that it was 'irrational,' Today said.