While I am sure some Muslim clerics in Indonesia would like to see a total ban of the social networking site Facebook, at recent meeting of clerics or imams, they are proposing a set of guidelines and rules for muslims using the site.
Facebook has seen a surge of users in Indonesia using the website since 2008, with around 831,000 users.
From the Jakarta Post:
The clerics think it is necessary to set an edict on virtual networking, because this online relationship could lead to lust, which is forbidden in Islam,” said Nabil Haroen, a spokesman for the Lirboyo Islamic boarding school, which is hosting the event.
Can’t any relationship online or offline lead to lust? I agree that people should act responsibly on the internet just as they would in real life. I wonder if you really need a different or separate set of rules.
“People using Facebook can be driven to engage in distasteful, pornographic chatting,” said Amidan, who was monitoring the two-day conference in the town of Kediri, in eastern Java.
I think because Facebook requires you to register using your real name, I think Facebook is less likely to be used in a “distasteful” way than other sites which allow you to register anonymously.
Organized religions can only benefit from using social networks for attracting young people. They can also be good for organizing events and online discussions.