It’s (Religion) Show Time

By Rio Tuasikal / @riotuasikal
Ceria Ramadhan, one of Trans TV Ramadhan program (photo :

During Ramadhan, muslims are fulfilled with much amusement. Look at our television channels, they made up themselves Islamic, often misleading to Arabic. Now our primetime is crowded with hijabs, God-around conversation, Quranic verses, and even camels.

Today, our religions are being commodificated. It means, people sell it’s values for their personal interest. For it’s economic purposes, television has taken symbols of religion, made it simplistic, and put it everywhere. Suddenly for Ramadhan, our media made a lot of programs, shows, stories decorated with Islamic symbols. Usually doesn’t.

Since people attracted to those symbols, by using them, television teaches us how to be a religious person. To be religious, television tells us, is to use these clothes not those, to do these things not those, to act like this not that. Television called artists to sing religious songs--even those artists suddenly have Ramadhan songs. A kind of religion-tainment.

Then we busy make ourselves like TV said. We buy clothes on midnight sale, do many things and act as we watched on TV. We listen to the newest religious songs from our smartphone. But we forget to help the homeless, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and have total surrender to God--which are the essence of Islam.

Religious symbols used very often on media. That explains why the death of a symbol, like Uje (ustadz, Islam preacher) happened couple months ago, is very popular. Ironically, now his brother, Azwan Fai, has a routine speech program on Trans TV. Guess what, Trans TV writes : Azwan Fai, Uje’s brother. So what matters exactly, the preach or the preacher? Or directly, the value or the symbol?

So where is the spiritual meaning of all these? None. Instead of trying to be a religious person, we focus on how we can looks as a religious person. So that’s why when Ramadhan and Idul Fitri has passed each year, everything is back to normal. The show has ended so there is no reason for us to keep our good behavior. God are forgotten, again. A temporal saleh (religiosity)?

In this holy month of Ramadhan, a bomb exploded at Ekayana buddhist temple in Jakarta. My friend told me it is related to Ahok (vice-governor of Jakarta, a chinese-decent) who stands against preman in Jakarta. Another friend said the relation is to Rohingya case in Myanmar. Same symbol different show. []