4th November Protest: We Are the One to be Blamed

There are 6500 spoken languages in the world. I think none of them can describe how I am feeling right now. Anger, sadness, confusion, frustration, all mixed up together in response to what happened on the night of 4th November. A night that many claims to be the day to protect Islam’s dignity in Indonesia. A night many others would remember as the night, of uncontrollable mess that started by merely a scandal.

The day started just fine for me. The noise of kids around my house woke me up, together with the sound of my phone alarm. I wasn’t expecting much that day. The only thing I expected was that, that night, it’s going to be a long one.

With all the fuss about the big protest coming at the heart of the city. I wasn’t expecting much would happened around me. I lived quite far away anyway.

Just when I started opening my emails to check on some spams, a plastic ball hit my bedroom door. My computer sits just behind it, with a curtain covering it from the glass window, so I could hear it quite clearly.

I startled, but it happened before, so I just put on “Top gear” so that I can hear Jeremy Clarkson’s voice on the background instead of those noisy kids.

I had just opened my bedroom door, readying myself to cook for my breakfast, when those kids started knocking at my front door, playing pranks for their afternoon entertainment, as if their noisy little soccer game just a meter away from my bedroom was not enough.

I ignored it. I started cooking, by  taking some water to boil for the noodle. Then from behind the curtain, I saw this one kid just casually walked into my front door and started knocking. “Assalamualaikum” He yelled before he started running away for cover.

So I waited behind the curtain, to see who’s been annoying me all morning. Then I saw two different kids approaching my front door. And just before they knock, I kicked my door. They startled, and ran away.

I felt so guilty. Just then, I caved in and turned myself into a 10 year old boy.

Just before you know it, they started banging my door using a rock. I ignored it. They stopped.

Just before I open the door to leave for work, I saw them again gathering. Only to ran away when they hear my key behind the door.

They kept running away and hiding behind walls and fences as if their big plan was discovered too soon.

I stopped and hopped off my motorbike. I waved my hand to call them over. I wanted to ask what they want, but they kept hiding. So I took off.

That’s how my morning started.


So it became no surprise for me, when the same society that raised those kids, casually burned 2 police cars and raided 2 mini markets during the night of 4th November. And that’s only small pictures of what actually happened that night.

So it became no surprise for me, when the “peaceful protest” to “defend Islam” became violent and turned into a familiar form of ostracism by the Indonesia majority.

Young kids, not even 10 years older than those kids who threw rock at my front door, were yelling death threats, flipping the finger to the media, threw rocks at the police, and burnt police cars. All in the name of defending Islam.

I however, refuses to blame the religion. Nor will I blame the people who does whatever it is that they did. Misconception, misunderstanding, arrogance and ignorance has become the main identity of this country. All blanketed upon the notion of freedom and democracy.

Without realizing the politics behind their acts. Without understanding the core of the problem. We, as a society, has assumed upon something and acted upon it without thinking about it.

We kept telling lies to ourselves that all this wasn’t what we wanted. That we don’t want to degrade ourselves to their level, that all this started because of some idiots, not us.

But seeing those idiots burning those cars felt good ain’t it? Because when I kicked that door, it felt good.

Because we know that we are indeed smarter than them. Because we’ve proven that it’s not us the problem, it’s them.

We point fingers towards this problem from weeks ago, and hided behind the walls like kids. We did not address it, we encourage it by feeding into their angers. We threw oil into the flames.

You know most of us can’t vote for him. You know most of us won’t even be affected by his reign.

We backed him because he is a minority. We backed him not because of his brilliance, but because he represent the hope of diversity. And yet, we campaigned as if his leadership will lead into the death of their arrogance. Even thought deep inside, we know it’s not going to.

You know today I have to let go of the anarchy. I was instructed not to report about the chaos. Not to report the violence because the people might not like it. I was censored. Not only by the broadcasting bureau, but also by viewers.

You know we have viewers who insisted, that whatever happened on the night of 4th November, was a noble quest to protect Islam.

We are a country that is corrupted by religion. And yet, we fed on that arrogance. We shout onto it.

We were bullied, and instead of leaving them, we fought back. Even though they are million times the size of us.

Sometimes I wanted to just run. Sometimes I gave hope to the fight.

But today. Today I tried to fight and I felt like I’m childish. Today I tried to fight, and I was instantly reminded, that it had no use.

So let’s just stop hoping. Let’s just let the Indonesian be the country that they wanted.

Let us gave up on the unity in diversity. Cause let’s face it, such things will only crumble. Such things will only forever be a slogan.



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