Political Islam in Indonesia: Impact of Current Israel-Hamas War in Gaza
28 November 2023
In Indonesia, the many public demonstrations of wide appeal that took place over the past few weeks in support of the Palestinians should be seen in the context of the 2024 Presidential Election and the implications for Jakarta’s eventual foreign policy and role in ASEAN. [...] COMMENTARY The 2019 Indonesian Presidential Election is considered one of the most divisive elections in the history of the nation. [...] Such political mobilisation of Muslim demonstrators and the involvement of MUI and other organisations were quite similar to the circumstances surrounding the blasphemy case involving Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (the Chinese Christian Governor of Jakarta also known as Ahok) in 2016-2017, which were partly responsible for the election of Baswedan as the Governor of Jakarta. [...] The second difference was the inclusiveness of the demonstration as indicated by the participation of people representing all major religions in Indonesia. [...] Despite attempts by the nationalist government and parties to portray the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as one of the last vestiges of colonialism, rather than an inter-religious conflict, it was clear that the issue is closer to the hearts of conservative Muslims than it is to other groups.