Category: Politics

The recent Jakarta gubernatorial election saw the mobilisation of religious sentiment on a massive scale. Postgraduate students Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir, Lukman-nul Hakim and Diatyka Widya Permata Yasih look at the growing use of identity politics in Indonesian electoral democracy.

On 9 May, judges sentenced Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison for blasphemy, surprising many, as prosecutors had not pursued a custodial sentence. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision. What arguments did the court hear and what did it accept?

The government’s recent announcement that it planned to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) has won support but also criticism, over fears of growing restrictions on freedom of association and assembly. Eryanto Nugroho writes that whatever happens, only acts, not thoughts and concepts should be banned.

Police named Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab a suspect in a high-profile pornography case on Monday. Dr Helen Pausacker writes that while many of his opponents would like to see him behind bars, there is little legal justification for charging him under the Pornography Law.

President Joko Widodo’s apparent lack of interest in ASEAN is a result of his short-term and pragmatic approach to policy making, writes Randy Nandyatama. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials have an important role to play in explaining ASEAN’s relevance and its connection to his political agenda.

The conviction for blasphemy of former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was not a surprise, writes Professor Tim Lindsey. What was surprising was that the judges decided to follow the usual pattern in blasphemy cases when the case before them was so very unusual.

The recent protests against Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama saw groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI)
come to the fore, while mainstream Muslim organisations Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah saw their influence wane. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr writes that NU and Muhammadiyah leaders need to rethink their approach.

Many observers have suggested that the win of Anies Baswedan in the Jakarta gubernatorial election last week has set the stage for the ongoing exploitation of religious and ethnic sentiment in Indonesian politics. According to Dr Dina Afrianty, however, most post-election analyses have failed to consider what the election result means for Indonesian women.

Anies Baswedan will be the next governor of Jakarta, following a bitterly fought campaign against Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama. Make no mistake, Professor Tim Lindsey writes, it was the mobilisation of racial and religious hatred achieved by his enemies that led to Ahok’s defeat in this election.

Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, have stirred controversy with the release of a pro-diversity campaign video that opponents have accused of being ‘anti-Islam’. Dr Helen Pausacker takes a close look at the video that has Ahok’s detractors so annoyed.

The last five years have seen the emergence of volunteer organisations as new actors in the campaigns of some of Indonesia’s most important elections. Who are these volunteers, what motivates them and what role do they play in elections? Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues and more with Dr Dirk Tomsa in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

The fiercely contested Jakarta gubernatorial election has given rise to a cycle of charges and counter-charges between the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and its opponents. Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata Ayun write that this politicisation of criminal justice is doing serious damage to the rule of law.