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Jakarta Post

Indonesia's largest Islamic group decries appointment of retired general as religious affairs minister

  • Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 29, 2019   /  12:49 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Members of the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police and the civilian security unit under Nahdlatul Ulama’s Ansor youth wing, Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser), carry a 30 meter by 40 m national flag at Sumilir Valley in Karanganyar, Central Java, on Aug. 1. (JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan )

The appointment of retired military general Fachrul Razi as the new religious affairs minister has sparked criticism from Indonesia's largest Islamic mass organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which backed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s reelection bid and whose members have regularly occupied the post for decades. Fachrul's appointment marks the first time in the era since the fall of Soeharto, also known as the Reform Era, that the position has gone to someone from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and not a member of the NU or the country's second largest Islamic group, Muhammadiyah.  The move to appoint Fachrul, the TNI's deputy commander from 1999 to 2000 and a member of Jokowi's team of experts during his first term in office, was made amid Jokowi’s fight against Islamic radicalism. A ...