Rob Baiton as Blogger Indonesia of the Week #80Frankly speaking, I dislike anonymous blogger or ghost blogger as I prefer to call it, particularly those who blog/write on such sensitive issues as politics and religion. Speaking of the latter topic without giving a clear name and identity, to me, does not represent a good intention, and thus credibility. A writer or a blogger who rigorously writes on those issues while hiding one’s true identity and name –such as the one behind indonesiamatters.com deserves our suspicion of having a hidden agenda. Specially when one is critical to certain religion while generously flattering or defending another most of the time.
I also notice that many foreign expatriates who blog on Indonesia tend to hide their identify or go pseudonymous. It’s of course their rights to do so as far as, as mentioned above, the themes they are talking about are not about certain sensitive issues. Unless they’re the ones who don’t care to keep their personal credibility and the credibility of their writings intact, being anonymous in writing such issues is a folly. Despite I highly appreciate those who are critical to themselves– like Juan Cole– I regard as far as writing, self-critical is the highest virtue; I still am able to find the way to appreciate those extreme right-wingers who talk rubbish all the time against others like Daniel Pipes (danielpipes.com)– who are vehemently anti-Arab, anti-Islam and Muslims and praises himself and the world he represents to the hill– for his gut to show his face. We may agree or disagree on something, but let’s do it on eye-to-eye basis. On blogging term, let’s not be anonyomus. That’s what a real man should do.
In short, what I would like to say is this: anonymous blogger is a coward. Sadly most foreign exparts in Indonesia are anonymous blogger. Rob Baiton, an expat in Indonesia for 15 years, therefore is a few exception. Go to his blog right away, and you will find out why.
Marisa Duma Blogger Indonesia of the Week # 81Many Indonesian bloggers are basically not trained in general writing skill, not to say in journalism. It’s understandable given the fact that a blog is, shall we say, citizen journalism. A blogger sometimes just writes whatever he/she wants to write, improperly written notwithstanding. Despite Seth Godin reminds us that “if you can write what you talk you would be a prolific writer” I believe that writing skill somehow is still needed for a serious blogger to make a blogger’s thought more “shiny”, more easily understood and have a stronger expression.
There are many ways to learn to write more properly, one of them is by reading a lot of blogs written by trained writers. This is the method I use to enhance my blog-writing skill: by being a regular reader of many English-speaking blog written by many skillful individuals with various expertises such as Seth Godin, Juan Cole, Insta Pundit, Problogger, and many more. I learn from them both the writing styles and how to make a quality content as well as the English usage.
Among Indonesia blogs of which Indonesian bloggers can learn and benefit from is a blog written by Marisa Duma,
[she] is an Indonesian, born 9th October 1982 and presently living in Jakarta. She studies psychology, communications, journalism, and the media, graduated as a certified ad kid, and she has around 5 years of professional experience in various fields.
She writes relatively regularly with a good Englsih and clear expression. One thing, among others, that becomes her strong point is her willingness to write on many new bunch of information that may benefit her readers. For example her latest post on Fun Facts about Indonesia, or about Indonesia Local Citizen Portal. Obviously that kind of info needs a certain energy for her to browse the www (wild wild web) more than any other Indonesian bloggers, like me, who tends to be a “bloggerly lazy” blogger. Bloggerly lazy stands for a blogger who hardly refers or “not energetic-enough” to link to other similar blog posts.
What Marisa Duma has done and is doing , therefore, is an exemplary to other bloggers to emulate not only for the interest of its content quality but also for promoting oneself’s blog further.
But people appreciation to her blog is not only confined to her content, some also like her blog design. Like what Colson said
This site is really special! Overwhelming and ambitious. But beautiful and unlike any other I know of. A real work of art.
Athough I encourage Indonesian bloggers to emphasize more on quality content rather than design having both sides advantage is certainly a bonus.
Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857-1936) is a Dutch scholar of Oriental cultures and languages and Advisor on Native Affairs to the colonial government of the-so-called Netherlands East Indies, that is Indonesia, One of his famous advice to the Dutch colonial authority to win Indonesian Muslim’s heart and mind was by “tolerating the spiritual aspects of Islam but containing rigorously Islam’s political expression. ”
What is the implicit meaning of that advice?
Geert Wilders, another Dutch and director-producer of Fitna, knows very well what it means: if you want to create a furore and anger among Muslim for whatever purpose just do the opposite of Hurgronje’s word; attack the spiritual aspect of Islam. He just did it and he got what he wanted: personal fame, controversies, criticism as well as “solidarity”. Muslims around the world feel so angry as usual. That’s understandable. You’d feel the pain when something or someone you adore and love got insulted.
But Muslim should also understand the context mentioned in the first para of this piece: the more you’re furious and uncontrollable, the more Geert Wilders (and anyone like him in the past and future) got and will get what they want. Which means you are in a “losing side” of the game.
It’s in this context that we need to hear another advice which represents a good spirit and maturity of attitude. And I believe Sherwin Tobing’s take on this issue represents that grown-up spirit, in which he said:
Protesting should be fine, but I surely hope that Indonesian Muslims or even Muslims around the world not to attack Dutch Embassies as happened before with Danish’s. Wilders, and some other people too, might be using this film as bait. Any kind of brutal and barbarous reactions from Muslims worldwide would just make them smirk and say: “See, Muslims are, indeed, barbarians”. Show them that Islam is religion of peace, show them that those Muslims in the video did not act accordingly to the Koran.
Sherwin Tobing seems to understand well the thumb rule on how to live together peacefully:
I did not know what to say after watching this film, I have always been against any behavior or language that insults or shows lack of respect for God or religion, thus I feel sorry for all Muslims around the world.
I believe that people should never talk about something which they do not really understand. I used to involve myself in religious discussion with people from different religions. I have seen that there were so many people picked up some “scary” or “weird” verses from other believer’s holy book, interpreted them in their favour, and used those interpreted verses to attack their debate opponents. I guess what Wilders did was much of a muchness, he just picked up randomly those Koranic verses and visualized his misinterpretations blatantly in this bad film.
I long for this kind of blog posting not only in commenting for this particular issue, but also in dealing with social relationship among religious followerss as a whole. The kind of articles Sherwin Tobing writes consistently and regularly in his blog deserves his blog to be a regular hang out for all of us, Indonesian bloggers as well as those who want to know more about Indonesia.