Should Islam be blamed for ‘barbaric’ acts?

Mar 11, 2008
Should Islam be blamed for ‘barbaric’ acts?
By Spengler
Al-Jazeera television on March 9 apologized to viewers after a talk-show guest, Syrian-American psychologist Dr Wafa Sultan, described as “barbaric” the response of Muslims to a Danish newspaper’s cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed. “The Muslims’ barbaric reaction added to the value of these cartoons. It simply proved their rightness,” said Dr Sultan on the Qatari network. “The Muslim is an irrational creature, and the things he learned overpower his mind and inflame his feelings. That is why these remarks have turned him into an inferior creature, who cannot control himself and respond to events in a rational way.”

Despite the network’s hasty apology, Dr Sultan’s presence on the show is a sign of the times. The issue of Muslim “barbarism”, including honor killings and other forms of violence against women, has risen in prominence in Europe’s political agenda. The question appears to be: Do Muslims commit barbaric acts because they are bad Muslims or because they are good Muslims? Does Islam as such promote barbarism or suppress it? Within the vast collection of hadith, or apocryphal sayings of Mohammed, are to be found explicit support for female genital mutilation and wife-beating. Are such barbaric acts a residue of traditional society that persist despite Islam, or because of it?I shall argue that this is the wrong question, for Islam by its nature cannot be separated from primitive life.

Many Muslims protest that Islamic law does not sanction honor killings, and that other ethnic groups (eg, Hindus and Sikhs in Britain) are guilty of the practice. Honor killings are a repulsive aspect of traditional society. We first hear of such an act in Genesis 34, when after Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced by a man of Shechem, after which his sons Simeon and Levi instigated the slaughter of the town’s men. But Jacob denounced the act and still reproached his sons for it from his deathbed.

The Hebrew Bible reports the practice of honor killing, but abhors it. Muslims remain divided on the subject. Strictly speaking, it is true that Islamic law forbids a Muslim family from killing an adulteress or a woman who has had relations with a non-Muslim man. But that is only because Islamic law specifies that Islamic courts, rather than families, should supervise the killing. It is not that women (and sometimes men) should not be killed for the crime of illicit sexual relations, but rather that the Islamic courts should arrange the killing.

For this reason, Islamic law views quite leniently honor killings that accomplish what the courts would have done given the opportunity, and many Islamic commentators do not see why families should wait for the courts at all. Until recently, Jordan gave “honor” killers sentences of as little as six months under Article 340 of the Jordan Penal Code, which stated: “Anyone catching his wife or one of his immediate family in a flagrant act of fornication with another person, and kills, injures or harms both or either of them, will benefit from the exculpating excuse …”

Jordan’s King Abdullah succeeded in revising this language, but as the Associated Press reported last year, “attempts to introduce harsher sentences for honor killings have been blocked in Jordan’s parliament, where the predominantly conservative Bedouin lawmakers argue that lesser penalties [than honor killings] would lead to tolerating of promiscuity.”

Islamic clerics, to be sure, tend to favor the idea that they rather than families should do the killing. According to a traditional ruling cited by Dr Mohammed Fadel and frequently posted on Islamic sites,

The prohibition against applying a legal penalty without legal authority (bi ghayri sultan) and without witnesses; cutting off the means to shedding the blood of a Muslim based merely upon the claim of his accuser, the one seeking the shedding of the accused’s blood. [In this case] the truth of the claim would be known only by [the accuser’s] own statement and Allah, may He be glorified and sanctified, has made the life of a Muslim a precious thing, and has made the sin in taking it great as well. Therefore, it [legal punishment] is permissible only under the conditions in which Allah has permitted it. [Application of legal punishments] is exclusively for the government so that it may apply that which Allah has commanded in His book or on the tongue of His Prophet.

There is no question that flogging and execution of adulterers is mandated by the Koran (eg, Sudra 4:15). As I observed in another context, this point is so clear in Islamic law that Professor Tariq Ramadan refused to condemn the practice in a televised debate with then French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.All Islamic commentary on the subject, though, applies to the behavior of Muslims in a country under Islamic rule in which the only only law is Islamic law. If no Islamic courts are available, what should an individual Muslim do? Is it then permissible to take the law into one’s own hands? We have no clear record of Islamic jurisprudence on the subject, for only in recent years have large numbers of Muslims come to live in non-Muslim countries. But the reticence of Islamic clergy in the West to denounce honor killings is noteworthy. Western apologists for Islam who attempt to distinguish between the religion and primitive practices constantly stub their toes against Muslim authorities who insist that honor killing, genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers is mandated by Islam.

The death penalty for adultery is typical of primitive society (it is of course found in the Hebrew Bible), but extremely rare in the Jewish Commonwealth during the historical era. In Hillel’s time, a generation before Jesus, the saying was that a court that handed down one death sentence in a century was considered a hanging court. Jesus’ mercy towards the adulteress reflected a wide body of Second-Temple opinion.

The crucial issue is why the practices of primitive society perdure in the Islamic world while they have been eliminated in the Judeo-Christian world. The practice of genital mutilation, surely one of the most barbaric customs in the world, is still defended by Islamic clergy. The website Islam Online has the following to say on the subject:

Before delving deep into the question of female circumcision, we would like to make it clear that ‘female circumcision’ means removing the prepuce of the clitoris, not the clitoris itself.

As for the Shariah stance on female circumcision, it’s a controversial issue among the Muslim scholars and even doctors.In response to the question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:

Actually, this is a controversial issue among jurists and even among doctors. It has sparked off fierce debate in Egypt whereby scholars and doctors are split into proponents and opponents.However, the most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favor of practicing circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet’s hadiths – even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: ‘Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands.’ The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman’s health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It’s noteworthy that the Prophet’s saying ‘do not exceed the limit’ means do not totally remove the clitoris.

And Livingislam. org defends wife-beating as follows:

The basic rule (asl) is strict prohibition, followed by dispensation (rukhsa) as explicited by the Prophet in the hadith below, which al-Shafi`i took for his evidence in his ruling:The Prophet said: ‘Do not hit the maidservants of Allah!’ (la tadribu ima’ Allah). Then Umar (RA) came to the Prophet and said [NB: by way of exaggeration, cf Awn al-Ma bud]: ‘The women are rebelling (dha’irna) against their husbands!’ So the Prophet gave a dispensation (rakhkhasa) to beat them.

Not all Islamic countries practice female genital mutilation, to be sure, and some non-Islamic African countries do so. The custom is neither universal in Islam nor unique to it.Nonetheless, the ubiquity of traditional practices that the civilized world long has repudiated underscores the fundamental difference between Islam on one hand, and Judaism and Christianity on the other. No Christian court has condemned a woman to death for adultery; although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence by any Jewish court. Although elements of traditional practice are found in ancient Jewish law, the entire purpose of the Jewish code is to separate Israel from the pagan practices of its neighbors. “Holiness” in Hebrew shares a root with the word for separation. The practices of traditional society throughout the Hebrew Bible are regarded as an abomination. By electing Israel, God removes it from the traditional world.

Christianity rejects traditional society all the more emphatically. To become a Christian, every individual must repudiate ethnicity and be reborn into a spiritualized Israel. The reborn Christian belongs not to a tribe, but to the people of God.

Franz Rosenzweig, the great German-Jewish theologian, qualified Islam as a parody of revealed religion. On the surface Islam mimics Jewish more than Christian practice; Muslims pray five times a day while the Jews pray three times, males are circumcised, a similar dietary code prevails, and so forth. But the inability of Islam to rid itself of the most barbaric practices of the primitive world at the beginning of the 21st century is a hallmark of a parody. The resemblances are strictly on the surface. The primitive world persists in Islam under the Abrahamic veneer, because the religion never offered a challenge to it. A small people to repudiate the practices of the pagan world, but a religion that absorbs countless peoples by conquest must accept them with their customs more or less intact.

In another respect, Islam parodies Christianity. Unlike Judaism, which seeks to separate Israel from the traditional practices of the surrounding peoples, Christianity proposes to incorporate all of humanity into the new People of God, by effecting an inner transformation of every individual. By this transformation, Christians believe, all of humanity can become holy. Islam offers a universal religion not of inner transformation but of obedience. Precisely this form of surface universalism ensures that Muslims carry the baggage of traditional life into the new religion, for it offers no point of departure from traditional society.

For this reason it is meaningless to ask whether Islam opposes or promotes the practices of traditional society, for its method of expansion is to absorb whole the societies within its power. As a universal religion, it can only universalize the aspirations of the tribes it assimilates, rather than transform them. At its worst, Christianity makes compromises with the pagan heritage of its converts, which is why Sicilian Catholics killed for honor until recently; at its best, Islam embodies this pagan heritage, which is why it cannot rid itself of barbarism today.

For more extensive discussion, I refer the reader to my essay Christian, Muslim, Jew in the October 2007 issue of First Things.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing)

Vatican lists “new sins,” including pollution

Vatican lists “new sins,” including pollution
By Philip Pullella Posted Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:00am PDT

A faithful holds the cross during a mass at a Catholic church on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province December 23, 2007. The Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of ‘new’ sins such as causing environmental blight. (Stringer/Reuters)
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of “new” sins such as causing environmental blight.

The guidance came at the weekend when Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the Vatican’s number two man in the sometimes murky area of sins and penance, spoke of modern evils.

Asked what he believed were today’s “new sins,” he told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the greatest danger zone for the modern soul was the largely uncharted world of bioethics.

“(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control,” he said.

The Vatican opposes stem cell research that involves destruction of embryos and has warned against the prospect of human cloning.

Girotti, in an interview headlined “New Forms of Social Sin,” also listed “ecological” offences as modern evils.

In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues such as climate change had become gravely important for the entire human race.

Under Benedict and his predecessor John Paul, the Vatican has become progressively “green.”

It has installed photovoltaic cells on buildings to produce electricity and hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.

Girotti, who is number two in the Vatican “Apostolic Penitentiary,” which deals with matter of conscience, also listed drug trafficking and social and economic injustices as modern sins.

But Girotti also bemoaned that fewer and fewer Catholics go to confession at all.

He pointed to a study by Milan’s Catholic University that showed that up to 60 percent of Catholic faithful in Italy stopped going to confession.

In the sacrament of Penance, Catholics confess their sins to a priest who absolves them in God’s name.

But the same study by the Catholic University showed that 30 percent of Italian Catholics believed that there was no need for a priest to be God’s intermediary and 20 percent felt uncomfortable talking about their sins to another person.

(Editing by Keith Weir)

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Arti Keluarga Bagiku…

 Kita sering mendengar bahwa keluarga adalah bagian mendasar dari hidup kemanusiawian seseorang. Semua pengalaman hidup baik yang baik maupun yang negatif berawal dalam keluarga. Berbahagialah kita bila mempunyai keluarga yang di dalamnya ada CINTA, sebab dimana ada cinta di situ ada Allah.

Makna keluarga amat mendalam dalam hidup kita. Keluarga  menjadi tempat semuanya berawal, seperti sekolah cinta, sekolah bergaul, sekolah berkomunikasi, sekolah menghadapi problem sekaligus sekolah menemukan solusi problem sejak dini.

Di dalam keluarga pula bisa terjadi sekolah kebencian, sekolah permusuhan, sekolah kejahatan, sekolah berpikir sempit, sekolah anarkhis,  jika memang dalam keluarga tidak ditemukan CINTA atau relasi yang baik dengan Yang Mahatinggi, relasi sesama dan lingkungan hidup kita.

Pejabat Vatikan Temui Pemimpin Muslim

Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2008 Posted: 6:37:20AM PST

Perwakilan Muslim berada di Roma minggu ini menghadiri pertemuan dua hari dengan pejabat Vatikan yang diharapkan menjadi tonggak bersejarah dalam pertemuan Katolik-Muslim.

Pembicaraan yang dimulai Selasa lalu itu dihadiri lima tokoh Muslim dan lima perwakilan Vatikan untuk mendiskusikan rencana pertemuan yang lebih besar pada tahun ini, yang diharapkan dapat dihadiri Paus Benediktus.

“Kita harus membawa dialog ini ke masa terkini mengikuti keberhasilan kepausan Yohanes Paulus II,” kata Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, wakil presiden Komunitas Agama Islam Italia.

Hubungan Katolik-Muslim mengalami hambatan pada 2006 saat Paus Benediktus mengeluarkan pernyataan yang tidak populer di Regensburg, Jerman, yang menimbulkan penghinaan besar bagi umat Muslim, yang menerjemahkan kotbah itu bermakna bahwa Islam adalah agama yang keras dan tidak rasional. Meskipun Paus itu kemudian meminta maaf atas ucapannya yang telah menyinggung, ia tidak mengeluarkan permintaan maaf penuh.

Saat mengunjungi Mesjid Biru di Turki, Paus menyerahkan sebuah cabang zaitun kepada Imam kepala yang berada dibawah naungan Mekah. Pada 2007, 138 cendekiawan Muslim menulis sebuah surat kepada Paus dan tokoh Kristiani lain yang menyebutkan perdamaian dunia ditentukan dengan dengan perdamaian kedua komunitas itu.

Dalam pernyataan bejudul “A Common Word Between Us and You” itu, para tokoh Muslim menambahkan, “Masa depan kita bersama berada dalam taruhan. Keberhasilan dunia untuk bertahan saja mungkin berada dalam taruhan.”

“Sekarang diperlukan dialog yang lebih dalam mengenai doktrin, teologi dan karakter agama-agama di dunia saat ini dan tantangan yang kita hadapi,” kata Pallavicini.

“Bersama-sama dengan Paus, kita harus mencoba, menapaki jalan dialog mengenai isu-isu yang dihadapi kemanusiaan saat ini,” katanya.

Pallavicini mengharapkan terorisme menjadi agenda penting saat pertemuan yang lebih besar diadakan yang kemungkinan di Vatikan sebelum musim panas atau di kediaman musim panas Paus di selatan Roma pada bulan Agustus.

“Terorisme adalah satu hal yang harus didiskusikan,” katanya. “Semua tokoh agama harus memperbaharui pesan perdamaian dalam iman mereka. Maka akan lebih mudah untuk mengisolasi ekstrimis dan menghindari penyalahgunaan agama.”

Diantara pejabat Vatikan yang bergabung dalam pembicaraan Selasa lalu adalah Kardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, kepala KOnsili Vatikan untuk Dialog Antaragama, kepala Institut Kepausan untuk Studi Arab dan Islam di Roma dan seorang profesor dari Universitas Gregorian di Roma.

Maria Mackay
Koresponden Kristiani Pos

Lagi Gereja GKPI Dibakar di Duri, Riau

Tokoh Organisasi Desak Kapolri Usut Pembakaran Gereja GKPI di Duri, Riau

Saturday, Mar. 8, 2008 Posted: 9:54:17PM PST

Sejumlah tokoh organisasi daerah mendesak Kapolri Jenderal Sutanto segera memerintahkan Kapolda Riau dan Kapolres Duri untuk mengusut tuntas kasus pembakaran gereja GKPI di Jurong pada tanggal 7 Februari lalu oleh massa bertopeng.

Hal tersebut diungkapkan Ketua DPC PDS Asahan Amir Munthe dan Sekretaris DPC GAMKI Asahan Ir S Simanjuntak, Kamis lalu secara terpisah di Kisaran. Menurut Munthe pembakaran yang dilakukan oleh massa bertopeng tersebut bukan lagi tindakan kriminal biasa melainkan sangat luar biasa yang dapat merusak kerukunan antar umat beragama di Indonesia, menurut Harian SIB.

“Dunia saat ini sangat kagum dengan kerukunan antar agama di Indonesia,” ujar Munthe sembari menyebutkan bahwa kekaguman tersebut tercipta setelah pemerintahan SBY mampu menyelesaikan konflik Poso yang selama bertahun-tahun tak kunjung selesai. Oleh sebab itu, ujar Munthe, sebelum kekaguman itu pudar maka pihak kepolisian harus segera menangkap para pelaku.

Sedangkan Sekretaris DPC GAMKI Asahan Ir S Simanjuntak kepada SIB menyebutkan pembakaran tersebut belum tentu dilakukan oleh umat non Kristiani. “Yang jelas Kapolri harus segera turun tangan mengusut kasus ini,” ujar Simanjuntak sembari berharap agar jemaat Gereja GKPI Jurong Duri tidak emosional dan senantiasa berdoa kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa sehingga pihak kepolisian dapat segera mengungkap kasus pembakaran itu.

Maria F.
Reporter Kristiani Pos

Paus Benediktus XVI Berencana Memulihkan Nama Reformator Martin Luther

Paus Benediktus XVI Berencana Memulihkan Nama Reformator Martin Luther

Saturday, Mar. 8, 2008 Posted: 10:14:24PM PST

Paus Benediktus XVI mempunyai pendapat berbeda terkait tokoh reformasi Martin Luther. Menurut Paus, Martin Luther dulunya tidak bermaksud memecah-belah gereja. Aksi Luther sebenarnya hanya ingin membongkar praktik-praktik korupsi di dalam gereja Katolik Roma pada masa itu, seperti diberitakan Radio Nederland.

Hal ini disambut baik Kardinal Walter Kasper, kutip Harian Komentar. Menurutnya, rencana Vatikan memulihkan nama Martin Luther, adalah langkah yang dapat meningkatkan dialog antara Katolik dan Protestan. Pendapat ini juga, turut menghapus citra Paus Benediktus yang sempat dinilai tokoh konservatif bergaris keras di Katolik.

Sementara itu, sosok Martin Luther sendiri dikenal sebagai pemimpin gerakan reformasi pada 31 Oktober 1517. Ia lahir pada 10 November 1483 di Langestrasse, Eisleben, Jerman. Ayahnya, Hans Luther adalah seorang pekerja tambang tembaga dan ibunya bernama Margarethe Lindemann.

Pada umur 7 tahun, Martin Luther masuk sekolah di Mansfeld. Ia senang menyanyi dalam bentuk paduan suara gereja. Umur 14 tahun ia dipindahkan ke sekolah berbahasa Latin di Magdeburg. Setahun kemudian, dipindahkan ke Eisennach sampai tamat. Pada tahun 1501, Martin Luther melanjutkan pendidikan ke perguruan tinggi di Erfurt. Dan pada tahun 1505 menempuh ujian magister dan lulus nomor dua dari tujuh belas calon. Berdasarkan gelar yang ia peroleh, Martin Luther diangkat menjadi dosen.

Tanggal 16 Juni 1505, Martin Luther masuk biara Ordo Augustinus di Erfurt yang sekarang termasuk wilayah Republik Demokrasi Jerman. Ayah dan teman-temannya tidak menyetujui tindakannya, namun Martin Luther tetap pada pendiriannya. Pada tahun 1507, ia ditahbiskan menjadi imam. Dalam waktu relatif singkat, ia menjadi terkenal dalam ordonya.

Tahun 1510, ia diutus ke Roma mengurus suatu perkara bagi Ordo Augustinus. Bulan Oktober 1512, ia mendapat gelar doktor teologis dan diangkat menjadi guru besar pada Universitas Wittenburg. Sebuah kisah yang terkenal, ketika pada 31 Oktober 1517, Martin Luther menempelkan 95 buah dalilnya di pintu gereja Wittenberg, sebagai protes atas dalil penjualan “surat penghapusan dosa”.

Dalil-dalil tersebut, diterjemahkan oleh mahasiswa-mahasiswa ke dalam bahasa Jerman, dengan maksud agar diketahui oleh banyak orang. Cara demikian memang sangat tepat, sehingga dalam waktu singkat tersiar di seluruh Jerman.

Akibat penempelan dalil-dalil tersebut di pintu gereja, Martin Luther dituduh sebagai penyesat umat. Paus Leo X menuntut agar ia menarik kembali ajaran tersebut. Ia dianggap “murtad” dan dikucilkan dan semua tulisannya dinyatakan terlarang.

Hukuman dan peringatan yang dikenakan padanya, tidak ia hiraukan. Berkat bantuan teman-teman dan pendukungnya, ia terus bekerja. Ajarannya semakin meluas dan pendukungnya bertambah banyak.

Sekalipun dikenakan hukuman agar ajaran tersebut ditarik kembali, Martin Luther dan pengikutnya tidak mundur.

Mereka tetap bekerja keras untuk mewujudkan pembaruan tersebut. Hal ini dapat kita lihat dalam tindakan dan karya, seperti menterjemahkan Alkitab ke dalam bahasa Jerman, sehingga bila orang ingin belajar Alkitab, tidak harus melalui gereja atau pendeta.

Adanya usaha menterjemahkan Alkitab ke dalam bahasa Jerman, seperti yang dikerjakan oleh Martin Luther ini, menjadi dasar dan pendorong bagi para teolog lainnya untuk menterjemahkan Alkitab tersebut ke dalam berbagai bahasa di dunia sampai saat ini, termasuk di Indonesia bahkan ke dalam beberapa bahasa daerah. (Kristiani Pos)

Album SBY pun Dibajak

Album Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono berjudul ”Rinduku Padamu” yang mendekati angka 50.000 keping, album berisi sepuluh lagu pop manis yang dirilis 4 November 2007 itu dibajak dalam format MP3. Sejak sebulan terakhir, bajakan ungkapan rindu Yudhoyono dapat ditemui di sejumlah lapak kaki lima hingga pusat belanja.

Menurut Ketua Umum Dewan Pimpinan Pusat Persatuan Artis Penyanyi, Pencipta Lagu, dan Penata Musik Rekaman Indonesia (Pappri) Dharma Oratmangun, sudah tiga judul lagu unggulan ciptaan Yudhoyono yang laku dibajak adalah Rinduku Padamu, Kawan, dan Mengarungi Keberkahan Tuhan.

”Saya dapati album bajakan itu di mal-mal di Jakarta, Sumatera, dan Indonesia Timur,” ujar Dharma seusai menghadap Presiden Yudhoyono di Kantor Presiden, Jakarta, Kamis (6/3) lalu.

Dharma adalah pimpinan proyek album ”Rinduku Padamu” dengan sampul foto Yudhoyono bermain gitar berlatar belakang langit biru. Album yang didistribusikan PT Nagaswara Sakti itu diluncurkan dengan misi untuk mengampanyekan penghargaan yang lebih baik terhadap para pencipta lagu dan memukul para pembajak yang bekerja layaknya mafia.

”Waktu Pak SBY masih menjabat sebagai Menko Polkam, beliau pernah berjanji, negara tak boleh kalah dengan mafia pembajakan. Kini, dengan hadirnya SBY di belantika musik, harus ada perubahan dalam tata niaga industri musik Indonesia,” ujar Dharma ketika itu.

Faktanya, seperti diungkapkannya sendiri, album ”Rinduku Padamu” kini telah dibajak. Album bajakan itu kini juga sudah beredar luas. Meskipun karya ciptanya dibajak, Yudhoyono tak berhenti berkarya menciptakan lagu baru. Yudhoyono telah menyerahkan 11 lagu ciptaannya kepada Dharma.

”Peluncuran album kedua tinggal menunggu waktu saja. Saya sudah memegang formulir pendaftaran ke hak cipta ke Departemen Hukum dan HAM dan aransemennya sudah ada,” ujar Dharma.

Dharma juga diserahi tugas meluncurkan videoklip 10 lagu Yudhoyono di album pertama dalam waktu dua minggu ke depan. ”Ada TKI, ada guru, dan ada buruh yang muncul dalam videoklip. Pokoknya populis,” ujarnya.

Mengenai terus berkaryanya Yudhoyono dengan menciptakan lagu, Dharma mengemukakan, Yudhoyono ingin menjadikan musik sebagai sarana berkomunikasi dengan rakyat yang kini dipimpinnya. Pilihan Yudhoyono pada kesenian, seperti mencipta lagu dan menulis puisi, sejalan dengan kegandrungannya pada penggunaan soft power.

Soal pembajakan yang terjadi dan mengancam album keduanya, seperti kerap dikatakan Presiden, ”Mari kita lihat sisi positifnya.” Faktanya, banyak artis dan musisi makin terkenal karena peredaran album bajakan yang sangat murah harganya di lapak-lapak kaki lima.

Dengan album bajakan, Yudhoyono dapat tetap berkomunikasi dengan rakyat kebanyakan yang makin terkuras kantongnya karena makin naiknya harga-harga kebutuhan pokok. (INU-Kommpas)