Pressure in Indonesia to Prevent Dual Language Praying

The Indonesian Ulema Council has issued an edict banning dual-language praying despite a Supreme Court ruling that makes it legal. Muhammad Yusman Roy, who heads a boarding school, refused to accept the ruling and was convicted of “despoiling Islam.” Roy had argued that many worshippers did not know Arabic and wanted to understand the meaning of their prayers. His boarding school was closed.

As one raised as an Orthodox Jew who prayed in Hebrew without comprehending the meaning of what I was saying, there is great sympathy for Mr. Roy. As a boy I was fortunate to have an uncle who listened to my complaint and got me a dual language prayer book.