Lies Marcoes

Lies Marcoes is a women's rights activist, writer and researcher and the director of Rumah Kita Bersama Foundation. Lies holds a master's in anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. She lives in Bogor.

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok, faces accusations of blasphemy over a speech in which he quoted a verse from the Qur’an. The hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) has said it will continue to protest until Ahok is taken to court. Lies Marcoes examines the verse in detail, and writes that views on whether Ahok was at fault are largely dependent on how the Qur’an is interpreted.

More than a year after 1,000 Rohingya asylum seekers arrived on the shores of North Aceh, few have been resettled in western countries. The fact that many Rohingya are poor and illiterate means they are not considered a priority. Lies Marcoes found that the global indifference to their plight may be driving them to join the Islamic State.

Many analyses of women’s involvement in fundamentalist groups depict these women as naive victims of more powerful or charismatic men. But as Lies Marcoes explains, young women have distinct political and ideological motives for participating in violent extremist movements. Photo by Armin Hari.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto rose to power in 2014 with pledges to eradicate corruption in the civil service, restore order to the city and improve waste management. But as Lies Marcoes writes, over recent months his name has become synonymous with religious intolerance.