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Jakarta Post

Postelection polarization: Real or imagined?

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 8, 2019   /  12:17 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Rematch: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo greets his rival, Prabowo Subianto, before a presidential candidate debate. (The Jakarta Post/Donny Fernando)

The aftermath of the 2019 presidential election has been full of questions on the place of religion in Indonesian politics and whether Indonesians have become more polarized along religious lines.

“The question of religion and the state always comes up [during election years], as we know,” Centre for Strategic and International Studies executive director Philips Vermonte said at a recent discussion on politics and religion in Central Jakarta.

“It seems to me that we need thorough thinking on whether or not this is a temporal phenomenon or a continued phenomenon.”

The question of rising religious influence over politics has been at the forefront of politics since the trial and subsequent conviction of then-Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy in 2017.

According to quick co...