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» 10/09/2012
INDONESIA
Muslim extremists in the streets against Jakarta's (Christian) deputy governor
by Mathias Hariyadi
The inauguration ceremony for the capital's new leaders has been postponed from 7 to 15 October. Government sources say the decision is administrative. In reality, it is due to protests by extremists who want non-Muslims banned from all key positions of responsibility.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The decision by Indonesia's Interior Minister to postpone from 7 to 15 October the inauguration of Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, as Jakarta's new governor and deputy governor, has stirred a hornets' nest.

Government sources claim that the inauguration of Jokowi and Ahok (as their popularly known) has been delayed due to administrative reasons. However, for many ordinary Indonesians, the reason is quite different. The government's decision to suspend the ceremony is due to other factors, namely a campaign by Muslim extremists against the deputy governor, guilty in their eyes for being Christian and of Chinese origins.

For days in fact, fundamentalist groups and movements have been mobilised against the capital's new leaders because "they are not an expression of Islam".

Joko Widodo is the outgoing governor of Jolo (central Java). Although a practicing Muslim, he is also a liberal. His deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnawa, is Christian and an ethnic Chinese, born in South Sumatra. Both Widodo and Purnawa have even been touted as possible candidates in the 2014 presidential elections.

The campaign against the Jokowi and Ahok ticket, especially against the Christian leader, has taken on a sense of urgency as hundreds of members of the Islamic Defence Front (FPI) invaded the streets to protest.

Gathered in front of Jakarta Provincial Legislative Council, Islamists warned government authorities that the new deputy governor will, as part of his mandate, manage 12 local agencies, including some Muslim organisations.

From their point of view, it is unacceptable that a non-Muslim should play any role in the life of Muslims, like supervising the language of the Qur'an or prayers. Instead, they want the government to ban non-Muslims from all key positions, including in the capital.

Indeed, the recent election campaign was marred from start to end by personal attacks against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama because of his religion and ethnic origins. Defamatory articles appeared in the press as his critics hurled abusive slogans at him.

Like before, sectarian tensions threatened confessional peace. In the past in fact, Chinese-Indonesians, both Christian and Buddhist, came under attack.

In May 1998, when strongman Suharto still ruled the country, thousands of them were violently and brutally attacked.

Over the years, such actions continued, a sign of how frail Indonesia's social fabric is.

 


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See also
04/07/2006 INDONESIA
Human rights activists are not giving up on three Indonesian Catholics
by Benteng Reges
04/03/2013 INDONESIA
Pro-independence symbolism in Aceh's new flag scares Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi
04/18/2012 INDONESIA
Aceh's new governor Zaini Abdullah pledges more Sharia
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/12/2007 INDONESIA – IRAN
Counter Tehran Conference on the Holocaust in Bali
03/31/2009 INDONESIA
Death toll continues to rise in "little tsunami" from dam collapse
by Mathias Hariyadi

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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