Ma’ruf Amin’s vice presidential candidacy will undoubtedly be a test for the so-called inclusion-moderation theory. The theory says that accommodating extreme or conservative figures or parties in democratic institutions and electoral races will compel them to eschew exclusive platforms and pursue moderation.
Now, six months after Ma’ruf was chosen as the running mate of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the theory appears to hold water. His rhetoric has indeed softened and he seems to be trying to avoid contentious issues that may turn away potential voters.
However, a closer look suggests that this is not really the case. Let’s examine three examples.
First, in late December 2018, the non-active chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and former supreme leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) delivered an unprecedented Christmas and New Year’s greeting to...