Hindus may suffer in Indonesia due to election

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, has long been considered a shining example of how Islam and democracy can coexist. Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, has been widely seen as proof that Islam and democracy can coexist and prosper.

Pandava and Krishna in an act of the wayang wong performance.

However, Indonesian Muslims are shifting towards Arab style of Islam.  They are getting enchanted by a Salafist interpretation of Islam. It is estimated that close to one hundred Indonesians joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Many Indonesians , applaud for the group on social media.

Eid al-Fitr mass prayer in Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta.

Many believe that the persecution of Hindus in Bali and human rights violation may be next on the cards.

Joko Widodo, the Muslim president of Indonesia is well known for saving minorities. Popularly known as Jokowi, he filled his Cabinet with women and banned a radical Islamic group that calls for Islamic law to replace Indonesia’s democracy. He also saved Chinese Christians during roits and greeted Bali Hindus on their new year day Nyepi.

His opponent in the race for becoming Indonesia’s president, a former talks the language of hard-line, Middle Eastern Islam. has attacked his opponent for not being sufficiently Islamic. This has made Jokowi move towards the right. His running mate, Ma’ruf Amin, has in the past issued fatwas against homosexuality and the wearing of Santa hats by Muslims. He has been accused by his opponents to be anti-Islam or against the ulema, Muslim scholars. He may perhaps be willing to pander to Islamist to keep the country together.

Some commentators believe that Indonesian politics is now backed into a corner and the Islamist have already won, no matter who wins the election.

Political Islam has strengthened tremendously over the last two decades in Indonesia. In 2016, a Christian Governor of a province was jailed for 20 months on charges of blasphemy. The conviction is considered to be a scandal and an example of “growing religious intolerance. Young voters, who comprise a big chunk of the electorate, are in support of conservative Islam. A small percentage of them even support violent action against “enemies of Islam.” Madrasas known as “Pesantren,” are everywhere and teach a Gulf countries like conservative interpretation of Islam.

Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-800. Airlines named after Ramayana Jatayu.

Islam arrived in Indonesia through Arab and Indian merchants. By the 16th century, it had replaced Buddhism, Hinduism and other local faiths. Their mosques had steeped roofs that many Hindus will find familiar. But all that is being replaced by Saudi funded Arab style Islam with veils (hijab) for women. Earlier it was hard to find a school going girl with hiajb, today it is the opposite.

Radical groups understand that they can use democracy to their advantage. They say that democracy is bad because it allows infidels to have a vote.




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