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Indonesian religious minorities face rising risks

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Subject

Religious politics and its impact.

Significance

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo recently ordered the police and military to “take firm action” against all forms of hate speech. The announcement follows the sentencing of the former governor of Jakarta, Ahok, for blasphemy and the government’s decision to ban the Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). These developments foreground the risks Indonesia faces with regard to secular politics, and the protection of minorities and religious freedoms.

Impacts

  • A continuing wave of small-scale rallies in support of Ahok are unlikely to result in a popular centrist movement.
  • Police attempts to arrest FPI's leader could result in large -- and potentially violent -- protests.
  • Chinese-Indonesian businesses could become targets of racial-ethnic violence.
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