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» 10/01/2012
INDONESIA
Muslim-Christian duo to run Jakarta, Islamists lash out
by Mathias Hariyadi
Jokowi and his deputy Ahok will begin running the capital on 7 October. For analysts and experts, their election marks an historic turning point. However, Muslim extremists bemoan their victory, calling it a bad and dark day for the nation. Islamists expect "immorality" will become widespread among residents.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A moderate Muslim and an ethnic Chinese Christian won the runoff vote for the Jakarta gubernatorial election. According to the official press release of the Election Commission, challengers Joko Widodo and his deputy Basuki Tjahaja Purnama beat outgoing Governor Fauzi "Foke" Bowo and his deputy Nachrowi Ramli.

On 7 October, 'Jokowi and Ahok,' as the duo is called, will start to run the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, capital of the largest Muslim nation in the world. Indonesian Muslim fundamentalists announced their intention to fight the new leaders "because they do not express Islam".

Rhoma Irama, a famous Indonesian singer, is among the extremist critics of the new administration. From the pages of Voice of Islam, he said that the Jokowi-Ahok victory is a bad and dark day for the entire nation, especially since the election was fought over nationalism and religion. The outgoing governor and his deputy governor ran in fact as strict Muslims. For Rhoma, the result is a "political disaster' not only for the people of Jakarta but also for all Indonesians.

Notwithstanding his racist slogans and religious fundamentalism, the singer foresees three major problems associated with the capital's new leaders. First, economic and social darkness will fall upon the capital. Secondly, the city will have no good Muslim leaders. Thirdly, the new leaders will lead Jakartans towards "immorality."

Other political analysts have a different view about the election of Jokowi and Ahok. Their victory is an historic turning point that will bring to the fore popular leaders who are ethnically and religiously different from most residents of the capital.

Joko Widodo is the outgoing governor of Solo, Central Java. A practicing Muslim, he is also a liberal. His deputy Basuki Tjahaja Purnawa is Christian, and an ethnic Chinese, born in southern Sumatra. Should Widodo run for the presidency in 2014 (which cannot be ruled out), his Christian deputy, Ahok, might become vice president.

During the election campaign, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was the object of repeated personal attacks because of his Chinese ethnicity and Christian religion. The press coverage and defamatory slogans reached a crescendo that raised fears of possible sectarian violence among various religious groups.

In the past, majority Muslims have in fact attacked ethnic Chinese, both Christian and Buddhist.

In May 1998, when the Suharto dictatorship was still in place, thousands of people were brutally and viciously attacked. This has continued on and off, a sign of how fragile Indonesian social cohesion is.


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See also
08/27/2012 INDONESIA
Campaign against Chinese Christian candidate in Jakarta gubernatorial race
by Mathias Hariyadi
07/26/2014 INDONESIA
Indonesian Church welcomes Jokowi's election "with joy and hope"
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/09/2008 INDONESIA
Thousands of Muslims take to the streets against “heretical” Ahmadiyah
12/10/2007 INDONESIA
The authorities in West Jakarta stop a parish priest from celebrating mass
by Mathias Hariyadi
04/09/2014 INDONESIA
Exit polls show Megawati leading in Indonesian elections thanks to the "Widodo effect"

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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