Islamism and Democratization in the Post 411 and 212 Rallies of Indonesia
(Published in Thinking ASEAN Issue 19 January 2017)
The boisterous but peaceful rallies that occurred in Jakarta on 4 November and 2 December 2016 (commonly referred to as the ‘411’ and ‘212’ rallies respectively) were important phenomenon in the Indonesian Islamic political scene. The alleged defamation of Holy Qur’an by Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and the formation of National Movement of the Guardians of the Indonesian Ulama Council’s Fatwa (GNPF MUI) attracted many people to participate in the rallies. As was seen, almost all elements of society were involved either organizationally or individually. Indonesian Muslims, which in many cases had been fragmented into many different streams, were united into carrying out one action and under one command during those peaceful actions.
On the one hand, it was truly a great phenomenon for Indonesian Muslims. Many reports reported that the crowd reached several millions Muslims. Their enthusiasm to join the event using all means of transportations, including some that even walked from such remote areas as Ciamis were seen as heroic and momentous actions. The most interesting thing was that Habieb Rizieq Shihab, the grand cleric of Front Pembela Islam (FPI or Islamic Defenders Front), who is normally found on the periphery of Indonesia’s political Islam, played a central role in the rallies. Baca Lanjutannya…