Pretty Good Podcast returns this 2022 with the second part of our series on freedom of religion and expression online in Indonesia. In this episode, accomplished Indonesian journalist and writer Feby Indirani shares her experience in advocating for such freedoms in the online space, from continued discussions on her books promoting religious tolerance to her current campaign, “Relax, It’s Just Religion”.
The two-part series is part of the Association for Progressive Communications’ (APC) Challenge project, with the aim of “challenging hate narratives and violations of freedom of religion and expression online in Asia”. Check out the first part of the series here.
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- Feby has authored two books and numerous short stories that dwell on the idea of “Magical Islamism” as a way of exploring religion from multiple points of view. In the podcast, she credits South American writers and their take on magical realism as the inspiration behind Magical Islamism.
- A choice quote from her interview with The Jakarta Post: “The characters [in my book] believe everything they are taught, but can you be sure what’s going to happen in the hereafter? Everything comes back to our interpretations of the [Quranic] tenets. Every time we talk about religion, we should ask ourselves this question: are we talking about the religion itself or our interpretations of it?”
- For Feby, social media has played a tremendous role in facilitating discussions between authors and their audiences, even on sensitive issues and topics. Hate speech, however, is still very much present, and is something that she continues to deal with as she promotes her ideas of religious tolerance.
- If you want to learn more about how hate speech can stifle the voices of marginalised communities, we recommend you check out our previous Pretty Good Podcast episode on protecting marginalised stories in the online space with Point of View Executive Director Bishakha Datta.
- The “Relax, It’s Just Religion” movement primarily spreads its message on Instagram, but will soon open its own website. The movement’s latest project is a film festival carrying the theme “Relaksasi Beragama” or “Religious Relaxation”, and in partnership with other organisations promoting religious tolerance. The festival is currently accepting proposals until February 22, 2022.
- As part of the Challenge project, APC in 2020 conducted a lecture series aimed at diversifying the discourse on hatred, religion and gender in South and Southeast Asia. You can listen to recordings of the three sessions below.