Arifin Purwakananta @en
Zakat Management Act recently ratified by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR-RI) becomes a hot topic now. It has been a long time since the community group dealing with zakat management and utilization in Indonesia (I call them Masyarakat Zakat — Zakat Community) came up with the idea of the amendment to Act No. 38 on Zakat Management as an effort to keep improving zakat management in Indonesia. Munas Forum Zakat (The National Summit of Zakat Forum) having been held three times in East Kalimantan, Jakarta, and Surabaya always focuses on the idea of improving zakat management in this country.
Though there were so many interruptions from PKS Faction and abstention from Hanura Faction, DPR kept going on with the Zakat Management Act. The enforcement of the Zakat Management Act provokes diverse responses. The media has noted statement of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and other source persons supporting this Act. Apparently, many other source persons turned out to give different statements such as critical statements from Ustaz Syuhada Bahri of Indonesian Islamic Da’wah Council (DDII) and Ustaz Mardani of PKS. Even Yusuf Wibisono of Center for Islamic Economics and Business (PEBS) of Universitas Indonesia in Opini column of Republika some time ago had an idea of performing judicial review of the Act newly issued. The idea of judicial review is in line with the opinion from some District Zakat Institutions (LAZ).
I interpret this as an idea contest; the idea of Indonesian zakat architecture is indeed not yet finished to discuss. The complicated matters of institution, relation between zakat with tax and people’s participation in zakat management becomes a crucial thing to be discussed. The implementation of Zakat Management Act when the Zakat Community does not yet reach an agreement on the zakat movement structure in Indonesia triggers off an awful disagreement between the pro and contra parties.
In my perspective, these different points of view are such a result of ijtihadi struggle among the leaders of Indonesian zakat movement. In this idea struggle, all mujtahidin are required to provide their fundamental view about the issue in a peaceful manner. This should be maintained so that any difference will not put us in any bad situation; this should be a topic in a sound discussion and tabayun forum.
When the Act as a legitimate constitution is already ratified, thus one of the tabayun rooms is the implementation of judicial review in the Constitutional Court. The idea of judicial review of the Zakat Management Act might become a relieving tabayun of constitution for us no matter what the result is.
While having both ideas in tabayun process, Zakat Community is also invited to discuss the draft of Government Regulation (PP) in several meetings by the Ministry of Religious Affairs which also invited the Zakat Institution (LAZ). I gladly welcome this initiative. I hope that Zakat Community could also give critical inputs on any regulations relating to zakat affairs for the sake of advance in zakat movement in Indonesia.
For Indonesians, disaster is not something strange to the ears. We hear this word almost everyday; we even witness it. Almost every month we gain information about calamities that occur around varied regions in our homeland. As we know, this natural-resource-and-cultural-rich country lies at the world’s crossroad of fire lines and the meeting of two main continental plates. The world of knowledge call it ‘the Ring of Fire’. Our land is also above the most active ring of fire in the world. Thus, it is no wonder that disasters naturally happen a lot in our country.
There are at least eight sorts of disaster threat that constantly lurk in our country, starting from earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, volcanic erruption, landslide, drought, flood, to epidemic of infectious diseases.
Unfortunately, such natural fact is not accompanied with high awareness from the people and the government. Although some regions have local traditions that aid in minimizing the amount of victim impacts when disasters come, each time a disaster happens, the government always falters and handles it slowly. As a consequence, it causes many casualties.
On the other hand, government policies to anticipate large loss impacts caused by disasters are still considerably minimum. Disasters can not be avoided because disasters are natural phenomenons. But if the government is alerted to and the people are highly aware of it, it will certainly result in a maximum anticipation to prevent large losses and large amount of casualties.
It’s still fresh in our memory how during October last year, three disasters came in turn at varied regions of Indonesia: the flash flood that hit the people of Wasior, Teluk Wondama Regency, West Papua; the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Mentawai Islands; and the Merapi erruption in the Special Region of Yogyakarta that disgorged hot clouds and dusts. All three disasters occured in the same month. More than 500 people lost their lives, thousands were injured, and refugee camps were filled with tens of thousands of lives. Not to mention the loss of properties and livestocks.
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) noted that since 1629 until last year or within 381 years, tsunami has occurred 171 times in Indonesia. BNPB data also states that 84 percent of the Indonesian region is disaster-prone, in which 80 percent are ecological disasters. Sadly, when we observe the quantity data of victims, everytime a disaster occur, marginal people have always become the main victims.
Thus, determining October as the month of Disaster Risk Reduction (PRB) should be a trigger for increasing mutual awareness in anticipating disasters. PRB Day becomes important in Indonesia because this country has never been disaster-free, locally and nationally. The United Nation has set the second Wednesday of each October as the PRB commemoration.
As a humanitarian social institution, Dompet Dhuafa has never been passive in taking action and conducting disaster management through its Disaster Management Center (DMC) network. Howeber, it would become more successful in reducing varied kinds of disaster risk when our people and government have the same awareness. It can be proven by developing an integrated disaster reduction and management system. So, let’s raise our awareness of disasters!
War, whenever and wherever it takes place, always creates a huge humanity crisis. Victims fall all over the places, starvation hits everyone, crying and moaning people becomes common view. The same situation happens in Palestine; since 1967, this region never rests from crisis and blasting weapons.
In the end of 2008, when the majority of people were celebrating the New Year of 2009, Israel for three full weeks had been bombarding Gaza area with heavy explosives. While people in other parts of the world were welcoming the new year in festivities, Gaza citizens had to go through it in fear, loss, and life uncertainty. Many innocent civilians had been victims and more of them had been seriously injured and traumatized.
Despite the background motives and purposes, the war between Palestine and Israel had been causing tortures to thousands or even million civilians. Their human rights were torn because of the brutality of the armed troops. Common people who deserve the right to live properly and peacefully have to submit to sorrow, for their infrastructures being destroyed and life joints being damaged by the war. Their homes were demolished, hospitals shaken into the ground, mosques and schools were blasted into debris. It doesn’t stop there; water installation facilities and the essential food-producing machines were also destroyed.
Aside from the never-ending conflict between Palestine and Israel, there is an important point to state: the larger the conflict between both nation is, the more people will fall victims, especially the innocent civilians. The condition forces us to see the conflict in humanity context, in which many individual human rights have been robbed by some parties who offer no responsibilities whatsoever. And within the human rights scheme, the large number of victims of the conflict should be categorized into violation to international and humanitarian laws.
Palestine, as an Israeli-occupied territory, has received sympathy from many parts of the world, from different nations, religions, races and groups. Now the world does not see Palestine issue as a conflict merely caused by interfaith sentiment. Palestine issue is about humanity, it is about human rights.
Dompet Dhuafa is an institution paying particular attention to Palestine, especially to the condition of its people, who suffer from attacks and assailants. As a social-humanity, trust-bearing institution, Dompet Dhuafa takes a role lending hands to the starving Palestinians by supporting the re-operation of a bakery in Gaza, which was demolished by Israel attack in 2009. Dompet Dhuafa had also sent one of its best doctors to assist the medical service in Gaza in the same year. Last year, Dompet Dhuafa resent another team and financial support to help drilling artesian well to provide clean water for Gaza residents with water shortage. Dompet Dhuafa —on request from the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)— also translated and published the report of United Nations Fact Finding Team on the Gaza Conflict led by Richard Goldstone from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009.
In the last few days, the Palestine issue again attracts international attention. This September 23, the Palestinian authority will bring a project of independence acknowledgement proposal for Palestine over an occupied land in 1967 and a request to be an official member of the UN. The League of Arab States supports this action. Other fellow and non-aligned countries also support this step. A heated and tough voting will likely happen at the UN Security Council. The European Union and the US will certainly stand up for Israel. It is possible that the voting will give support to Palestine and the UN Security Council will pass an independence resolution for Palestine. But the problem is, 79 countries have not expressed recognition to Palestine authority as yet. From the 79, 29 of them are non-aligned countries. But it seems that the US plans to block this resolution using its powerful veto.
We hope that our eyes are open wider to perceive the facts and humanity tragedy happening in Palestine. May our empathy to help our brothers and sisters in Palestine be reawakened, not just because of religious sentiment, but more than that, because of the humanity values, which have been torn apart by irresponsible parties.