Rabu , 17 May 2017, 10:36 WIB

Sectarian Tensions on the Rise?

Red: Agung Vazza
Garuda Pancasila
Garuda Pancasila

By : Wildan Nasution *)

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, The conviction against non-active Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has sparked tensions in some regions. The situation in West Kalimantan, which saw hundreds of people killed in two bloody ethnic conflicts in 1996/1997 and 2001, is might particularly worrying as rising sectarian tensions in the capital have reignited suspicions among different religious and ethnic groups in the province. 

The rumors were triggered by a speech made by West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis, in which he said he would oppose the presence of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab, in the province. The Dayak people, one of West Kalimantan’s largest ethnic groups, have expressed their support for the governor’s stance. The incident has angered a group of people claiming to represent Malays and Muslims. They called on authorities to prosecute the governor for stoking sectarian tensions. 

Separately, in North Sulawesi, hundreds of people on Saturday swarmed Sam Ratulangi International Airport and the governor’s office to protest againts the presence of House of Representatives deputy speaker Fahri Hamzah, who was accused of supporting the FPI. 

However, being admitted or not, supporting movement to Ahok has been rising sectarian tensions, which believed could threaten the country’s diversity and its could be triggered horizontal conflicts, because of that all national stakeholders must aware to prevent it or to minimalize it. But, actually, a massive rallies and candlelight vigils to delay Ahok’s incarceration must be stopped because it’s has been broken law mechanism and its has given a negative image for Indonesia’s law enforcement.

Basically, the presence of state and government to protect the diversity of Indonesia through law enforcement is given Ahok with a proportional verdict. It must be understood for Ahok’s supporters or symphatizers. If Ahok’s supporters has been rallying protest against those verdict, indirectly it could be called as breaking law mechanism and interfere law enforcement.

At the other side, the central government must be warned the local government or the province or district which stimulated jeopardizing situation through “sectarian policy”. Every government apparatus must remember to their main task to protect our national diversity through equal treatment for all of national stakeholders without looking their differences on political mindset, religious and tribes.

The central government must be prohibited whatever political movement including an internationalizing domestic issues which could be raised sectarian tensions in Indonesia. Every people of Indonesia must obey to Indonesia’s law mechanism. Every movement which against law mechanism must be punished with strongest verdict. 

*) The author is a senior researcher at Center of Risk Strategic Intelligence Assessment (Cersia), Jakarta.

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