REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, The decision of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to join the Friday prayer together with the Aksi Damai 212’s mass, Friday (2/12), in National Monument (Monas), was impressive. Two thumbs up. Even more, he delivered a short soothing speech for the millions of mass, followed by several times of takbir (glorify the greatness of God).
“First of all, thank you for your prayer and dhikr for the safety of our nation and state. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” shout the President, followed by the mass.
“Secondly, I wanted to give my highest honour because all the worshippers came in orderly, so this event runs well. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” Jokowi who was accompanied by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and some ministers said.
“Once more, thank you and please be safe in the way home. Thank you.”
The worshippers, as the President called, were disbanded. They went back home orderly. Only some hours after the Friday prayer, the areas in Monas and surroundings were free of the mass. There were no damaged flowers nor garden. There were no trashes be scattered around.
The presence of the President Jokowi in the middle of the mass confirmed his original character as a humble leader who wants to be close to the citizens. ‘Blusukan’ (impromptu visiti) was still being his hobby, even after he became a president. He met the groups of people who disagree with him and did some demonstrations against his policy –when he was being a major, a governor, and then a president. He even asked them to join a dinner or lunch before he clarified the programs.
And, usually, the people finally nod their head. With this kind of approach, Mr. Jokowi was known as a genuine leader. He was also known as an innocent and kind person who was good at hiding his anger behind the bright face. These also brought him to be reselected as the major of Solo for two periods, the governor of Jakarta Special Region, and then the President of Indonesia.
His decision on December 2 was different from the previous demonstration on November 4th, although in two rallies, the organizer, the participants, and the demands were the same. He was not willing to meet the mass at November 4, the mass who have whiten Jakarta with their white shirts, in spite of various reasons given by the presidential staffs. He seemed to intentionally run away. He asked the Vice President and some ministers to meet the rallies representatives.
Rather than meet the leaders of protesters, the atmosphere that was created after the rallies showed that the state and nation was in critical condition. His state visit to Australia was postponed. He quickly did some visits to the military and police units, such as Kopassus, Kostrad, Brimob, and so on. He also visited the two biggest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah. A number of scholars and leaders of other Islamic organizations was also invited to the Palace. However, the invitation did not include the leaders of the protesters who called themselves as the National Movement to Guard the Indonesian Council of Ulama's Fatwa (GNPF MUI).
Various statement by senior security officials, political parties, and some mainstream Islamic organization leaders as well as a number of observers heat up the atmosphere. They positioned GNPF MUI as a defendant, a trouble-and-chaos-maker, a radical, an Indonesian anti-diversity group, anti-NKRI, anti-Pancasila and other accusation.
The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) who was previously stated the Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok), has insult the Quran, finally became unsteady. MUI became less confident when its fatwa got critics here and there. Even the MUI accused for making the chaos associated with the fatwa. A well-known ustad, Yusuf Mansur cried over the critics for Islamic priests in a television show.
The question is, was it true that GNPF MUI -which was intended to defend the MUI’s fatwa, wanted to make a chaos and troubles, to divide the community, and even to make a coup?
I know some of GNPF MUI’s leaders well, such as Habib Rizieq Syihab, Abdul Rasyid Abdullah Syafii, Bachtiar Natsir, Abdullah Gymnastiar (Aa Gym), Arifin Ilham, Zaitun Rasmin, and some others. I believe that they love peace. They have commitment to keep the NKRI, Pancasila, UUD 1945, and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.
What they really demanded was justice and law-enforcement. Equality before the law, particularly for the case of blasphemy accused to Ahok. They referred to the suspects of some previous religious blasphemy cases who were jailed. The pressure of law-enforcement had nothing to do with the gubernatorial elections.
Indonesia is a country with a plural population, consisting of various tribes, customs, race, and religion. The population was united under the name of Indonesia. In this country, mutual respect among religions –and also tribal, indigenous, and race-, is absolute, is a must. On the contrary, blasphemy and harassment of religious and belief communities is ‘haram’. The perpetrators must be punished. If it was allowed, it would go to seed conflicts and division of society. Further, it may threaten the integrity of the Republic.
Therefore, the alleged blasphemy should be thoroughly investigated. It was a very sensitive issue. It had nothing to do with his tribes, race, customs, and religions. The pressure given by GNPF MUI is legitimate. Once again, law should be enforced, as fair as possible.
Don’t do the opposite, where GNPF MUI accused to be the chaos and trouble maker. The rally led by GNPF MUI involve millions of people. It held safely and peacefully, even super-peaceful. The ‘Aksi 212’ was only filled by Friday prayer and dhikr. A friend commented on this, said that this kind of rallies should be preserved. The events may attract the domestic and international tourists to come to Jakarta.
The super peaceful rally was certainly dependant on the humble attitude of the leaders of GNPF MUI, Indonesian military police, and MUI. This attitude drove the parties to do consultative meeting, facilitated by MUI. The deliberation of ‘ulama’ and ‘umara’ created the super peaceful rally of 212.
This rally became more peaceful when President Jokowi decided to join the Friday prayer together with millions of demonstrators. His presence must be recognized as a contribution in building peace to the society. Therefore, it was proper to say to him, “Mr. President, this time, your decision to join the Friday prayer and to meet hundreds thousands of the protesters was very impressive!”