FPI Demands Delay in Inauguration of Jakarta Deputy Governor-Elect Ahok

By webadmin on 07:00 pm Oct 09, 2012
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Lenny Tristia Tambun & Arientha Primanita

[Updated on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012]

Hundreds of
hard-line Muslims continued their rhetoric against Jakarta’s Christian
deputy governor-elect on Tuesday, calling on the City Council to revoke
all bylaws granting him authority to oversee Islamic institutions and
affairs.

Salim Alatas, chief patron of the Jakarta chapter of
the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), said that the city’s newly elected
second-in-command, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok,
should not be in charge of Islamic matters.

“The problem is that Ahok is Christian. The task and position given to Ahok contradicts Islamic Shariah law,” he said.

“It
goes against Shariah if a non-Muslim is appointed as amil zakat [an
official in charge of collecting and distributing alms] or as an adviser
to Islamic institutions. Ahok cannot fill that position. We want the
bylaws revised accordingly.”

Salim said that there were at least
eight positions related to Islamic matters that were currently assigned
to the post of deputy governor.

“We call on the councilors to issue a bylaw that forbids non-Muslims from holding positions in Islamic institutions,” he said.

The
FPI also urged the City Council to delay the inauguration of Basuki and
the governor-elect, Joko Widodo, which is scheduled for next Monday.

Members
of the council’s Commission A, overseeing local governance affairs,
promised to convey the FPI’s demands to the Jakarta administration.

Endah
Pardjoko, the commission secretary, said that under the bylaws, the
responsibility for handling Islamic institutions and affairs in the
administration did not have to be assigned to the deputy governor, and
could be taken over by the governor or the city secretary.

She also said she was optimistic that Joko would be flexible about assigning duties within his administration.

“The
newly elected deputy governor was probably unaware of these bylaws. But
we believe that Joko understands these bylaws,” Endah said.

“It’s
certain that he will not be too rigid about it, he will be flexible.
The governor-elect will decide and assign the appropriate tasks to his
deputy.”

Abdul Aziz, another member of the council’s Commission
A, said that the bylaws did not specifically state that the deputy
governor must be in charge of the positions related to Islamic affairs,
and therefore the matter could be resolved with the issuance of a
gubernatorial decree.

“Since it isn’t explicitly regulated, a gubernatorial decree can revise that. The decree will not violate the law,” he said.

He
pointed out that in order to be binding, the decree would have to be
issued by Joko and not the interim governor, and therefore could not be
issued before Basuki was sworn into office.

Munarman, the FPI’s
chief legal counsel, said the group would wait for the decree and would
return to the City Council the day after the inauguration if it had not
been issued.

Hard-line supporters of the former governor, Fauzi
Bowo, previously attacked Basuki’s faith and ethnicity in the hotly
contested runoff election last month that Joko and Basuki won with 54
percent of votes.