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Jakarta Post

COMMENTARY: Indonesian Islamists may just secure their biggest win yet

  • Ary Hermawan

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 31, 2017   /  08:25 am
COMMENTARY: Indonesian Islamists may just secure their biggest win yet Rizieq Shihab leads Thousands of Moslems participate in a rally in front of the Parliamentary Office in Jakarta, Tuesday, February 21, 2017. They asked the government to solve blasphemy case by Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and detain the governor. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

For the more liberal Indonesians who believe Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Syihab was mostly responsible for the unjust blasphemy prosecution of then Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the police’s decision to charge the firebrand cleric over pornography is music to their ears. Some may call it karma or divine justice or, for the Ahokers out there, sweet, sweet revenge. Rizieq has long been a thorn in the side of democracy. It is tempting to cheer the police’s move against him and wonder if this could be the beginning of the humiliating end of the FPI leader. Alas, that is just a delusion fueled by emotions and fears. Rizieq may go to jail, but his downfall is far from imminent. His legal quagmire will only make him even more popular and stronger. Here is why that would be the case. The criminal investigation into the pornograp...