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Your_Majesty's avatar

What is your opinion of the tradition in other countries to shut down commerce for Muslim holidays?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8215points) March 17th, 2010

Each time when the ‘Islamic fast month’ come no one in this country(Indonesia) is allowed to eat or even open their food store/restaurant/cafe,or else from morning until afternoon(14 hours) in the respect for people in this belief during this particular ‘holy month’. There’s no such rule in this country national rule and it only exist as some norm/particular religion. But when some people are known to violate this particular religion rule people in this religion will sabotage and blame them,claiming that those disrespectful people(non-Muslim) open their food store to let Islamic people fall to their temptation and become disrespectful toward their own religion. It’s weird to say,but our government encourage this action,they even help those people to do this action(eliminating/banning food related source during this particular month). Seems like our national rule has been over consumed by the majority of certain particular norm/religion rule. This government never sustain/protect other religion as good as when they sustain/protect the Islamic religion.
So to tell you the truth,during this month non-Muslim people that depends their food from external sources will not be allowed to open their store or even eat their homemade food in front of the Muslim,and of course they must go hungry during this particular month. So,I need to see what can you say about this behavior?. Should the Muslim people take over the right of all non-Muslim people?. Do you think our government really encourage their action and let discrimination to happen?. And finally,who disrespect who in this country?

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27 Answers

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

“Should the Muslim people take over the right of all non-Muslim people?” <== The Christian/Non-religious people of the world are weak. They are a paper-tiger. They do not stand up for their rights against Muslim oppressors since they fear being labeled “racist” or otherwise. Muslim culture and law is generally abominable but they did get the self-assertive thing right. The Christian/Non-religious people of the world deserve to be and will be oppressed if they do not stand up for their rights. This has already begun to happen but it happens slowly over decades.

CMaz's avatar

I am still trying to get Martin Luther King Day off.

njnyjobs's avatar

Indonesia is predominantly an islamic state and religion is an important part in their society. The religious influence on political, cultural and economical life is immense and not to be taken lightly. Non-muslim folks must simply respect the traditions of the muslim residents, the way they want to be treated when practicing their own beliefs. Non-muslims are not forbiden to eat, but simply do it as dictated by the norms.

JeffVader's avatar

Well, given that Indionesia is a predominantly Muslim country I cant really see it being an issue. After all here in the UK we force people to go through months of blatant consumerism starting in Oct thru Dec. This is rather flimsily based on Christian ideals.

Fyrius's avatar

That’s terrible.
I had no idea that Indonesia was such a culturally backward nation. The freaking government encourages bullying non-Muslims for not sticking to someone else’s traditions? It’s horribly unfair for all Indonesian religious minorities.

A culture that does not accept religious diversity has no future in an increasingly globalising world.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

According to Wikipedia, the Muslim population of Indonesia is approximately 86%. However, there are pockets of the archipelago where that proportion doesn’t hold. Quoting Wikipedia: Muslims form distinct minorities in Papua, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, parts of North Sumatra, most inland areas of Kalimantan, and North Sulawesi. Together, these non-Muslim areas originally constituted more than one third of Indonesia prior to the massive transmigration effort sponsored by the Suharto government and recent spontaneous internal migration.

So it would be “nice” if the government would recognize that not every part of Indonesia wants to be governed by the rules that Muslims follow. We’ve managed to accept a lot of different cultures in the US that follow their own rules (Jewish, Amish, Mennonite and Indian communities all around this country), and hopefully Indonesia can eventually do the same.

Even so… we have made at least one Christian holiday into a national holiday: Christmas. Not to mention Sundays, which are often treated “specially” by many US states.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Fyrius the practice is not limited to Indonesia. Arab states also have similar traditional practices. Westerners may find them backwards but then it is their sovereignity and due respect for such practices must be given. . . . that is if you care about not getting in trouble.

aprilsimnel's avatar

But when some people are known to violate this particular religion rule people in this religion will sabotage and blame them,claiming that those disrespectful people(non-Muslim) open their food store to let Islamic people fall to their temptation and become disrespectful toward their own religion. (Emphasis mine)

Really? So weak in their faith that just the fact of an open food store is a deep temptation? How it is, then, that Muslims in the US and other Western countries manage to stave it off? That Jews who wish to manage to keep kosher? That fundamentalist Christians bypass R-rated films?~ Such overheated rhetoric only serves to underscore the weakness of the complainer’s faith.

My opinion is that it’s only people with such weak faith, like the complainers, who would want to solidify their position by controlling everyone else’s behaviour, and no matter the religion, nobody has the right to demand that adult people follow practices they don’t believe in. Let everyone seek out their own soul’s salvation.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think that if there are non-Muslims, they should be able to shop and eat – I have an understanding that Ramadan is about rising above temptation and you don’t see many Muslims in America complaining that others are eating – that’s because the Muslims I know only see this as a challenge to overcome and welcome it.

thriftymaid's avatar

If it’s a muslim state it makes sense. When I was young the stores in my state closed on the day of the big college football rivalry—everyone was glued to the radio or TV. It’s a cultural thing. If you are in the USA and don’t like this, you should request to work on Christmas day and Good Friday,

YARNLADY's avatar

People in other countries don’t have constitutional rights like we do in the U.S. Many countries actually have a State approved religion, and it is usually Muslim.

Fyrius's avatar

Due respect?
I respect the determination it takes not to eat anything during the day for a month. But I believe that is all respect that is due. And it’s not enough to justify bothering other people with it. Not to mention, as @aprilsimnel already did, that even that respect is not due if the very possibility of getting food before nightfall is enough to topple that determination.
And the fact that one could get into trouble for not paying a tradition due or undue respect only serves to confirm the impression of backwardness.

I think there’s an important difference between being allowed to work whenever you want and being allowed to eat whenever you want. Being that I don’t like working and I do like eating.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Fyrius it’s their country, it’s their rules. Your opinion may differ and disagree from their reality but it doesn’t mean squat. May suggestion to you is stay away from those countries seeing that you are one that exhibits temerity, unless you’re up for some whipping/stoning/beating.

Fyrius's avatar

You bet I will.
I’ll be rotting in my grave before I set foot anywhere I’ll be expected to obey theocratic law.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

For a long time, in the US, businesses were not open on Sundays. Many states had laws against businesses being open on Sundays. That changed during the 1970s. You still run into a few businesses that are closed on Sundays—like Hobby Lobby and Chik-fil-A.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@PandoraBoxx… not to mention liquor stores in Connecticut.

njnyjobs's avatar

…car dealers in NJ are also closed on Sundays

@Fyrius doesn’t the Netherlands have anti-Sunday shopping laws, based on old religious tradition, prohibiting shops from transacting business on Sundays? Check the list here where you should keep yourself away lest you swallow your statement.

Fyrius's avatar

I’m aware of that.
I don’t consider that theocratic law, though. It’s a law of religious origins, that’s true, but it’s not enforced for religious reasons any more. Nobody is afraid that working on Sundays will piss off Jehovah and then he’ll make all the dikes burst.
(And almost everything the bible would forbid to be done on the sabbath is perfectly legal anyway. You can still work. You just can’t have your shop opened.)

I’ll admit I’m not sure why the anti-Sunday shopping laws are still in place so long after everyone stopped caring about the religious reasons, but I think it’s because having some time off once every seven days was just a genuinely good idea.

For the record, though, if anyone would actually complain about being forbidden to work on Sundays, I would support that.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Fyrius…how convenient, .... well, don’t you think that the Dutch law prohibiting koopzondag is worse than being under a theocracy? At least in a theocracy, the people recognize the governance by diety or divine guidance. . . while evryone knows that prostitution and marijuana use is completely legal. . . really says a lot about the religious conviction of the state…

Fyrius's avatar

Convenient? Do you think I’m not being consistent?
I’m no nationalist. I know Dutch culture still has some provincially religious undertones, and I don’t like that here any more than I like it elsewhere. But it’s preposterous to compare that sort of thing to theocratic law.

The Netherlands are a multi-cultural society, where people of all persuasions are welcome. We recognise religious diversity. Many of us celebrate religious diversity. Our tolerance is famous around the world.
And you can count on a lot of people shouting bloody murder at any sign of religion interfering in politics, including very much yours truly.

No, I don’t think upholding laws originally of religious origins is worse than actual open theocracy. One reason is that in the latter case, the powers that be openly choose sides as to which religious community is the Only True one. Another is that like I said, these laws are not upheld for religious reasons, and thus religion does not influence the decision to keep them. I’d be very surprised if they’d be abolished if the Church asked nicely.

njnyjobs's avatar

@Fyriusblah, blah, blah, blah, blah… Yeah, your profile clearly defines your responses… thanks for putting that out.

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Ron_C's avatar

I’ve been in Malaysia during Ramadan that they didn’t force the fast on non-Muslims. I am surprised that it is that way in Indonesia. Is it like that on all of the Indonesian islands?

By the way we have a deeply symbolic day in Pennsylvania. It is called “the first day of deer season”. Schools are closed, many businesses resort to a skeleton staff, and church attendance is low. The bars, however are open all day.

bea2345's avatar

During Ramadan in my country, you would never guess that Muslims were fasting. My colleagues in the faith go on working as usual, except that I don’t see them in the staffroom at lunch time. Some shops will close for the midday prayers and there are services in all the mosques, as far as I can observe. When I was going to school, Muslim girls were expected to, and did, keep up with school activities without making a show of it. They seem to be a disciplined people, Muslims. Eid is celebrated by everybody. (a couple I know of, the husband is Hindu, the wife, Muslim. A few years ago Divali and Eid fell in the same week: the wife was cooking up a storm for days.)

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