12 national Islamic organizations, including Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, called on the government to stop sending workers to Saudi Arabia and to better protect migrant workers in general. This comes on the same day that Labor Minister Muhaimin Iskandar is meeting with his counterpart in Riyadh to discuss the issue of migrant workers.
It is interesting to see the effect of religious organizations adding their voice to the debate over migrant workers. One the one hand, the fact that citizens of majority Muslim Saudi Arabia are exploiting citizens from majority Muslim Indonesia adds to the moral outrage in Indonesia and is potentially more shaming for Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, what happens when these same organizations make statements that most labor NGOs would find less then empowering? For example, how many labor activists would want to be associated with positions like the one below:
Muhammadiyah, the country’s second-largest Islamic organization, was also among the 12. It said that, under Islam, Muslim women were not allowed to travel far from home without being accompanied by male kin. (Jakarta Globe)