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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
07/20/2007 INDONESIA
Radical Muslims oppose Carmelite prayer centre
by Benteng Reges

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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