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Jakarta Post

Retired general’s appointment as religious affairs minister raises major doubts

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, October 23, 2019   /  09:43 pm
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Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi (JP/Donny Fernando)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed retired military general Fachrul Razi as the new religious affairs minister in an apparent attempt to fight radicalism. However, activists have expressed deep concern over religious minorities being further marginalized under Fachrul's watch. The executive director of human rights group Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said the decision to assign a former security officer to counter radicalism "feels wrong" on so many levels. Instead of putting its entire focus on deradicalization efforts, Usman said the government must first restore and guarantee the right of various minority groups – including Ahmadiyah and the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) – to practice their respective beliefs, as guaranteed under the Constitution.  The government, he further said, also had a track record ...