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Governor elect Baswedan calls on FPI to shed negative image, support diversity

Tempo - August 19, 2017

Avit Hidayat, Jakarta – Jakarta governor elect Anies Baswedan hopes that the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) can shed its negative image which is so often associated with the organisation.

"I want to reiterate, as I have said before, that in the future the FPI must be able to prove itself as an organisations that is a guardian of diversity", said Baswedan during the celebration of the FPI's 19th anniversary in Kapuk Kamal, Jakarta, on Saturday August 19.

Baswedan reminded the FPI that it has a commitment to safeguard the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) calling on the organisations established by Rizieq Syihab to protect unity in diversity (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika). "I want the FPI to prove that it can do this", said Baswedan.

Baswedan said that the negative image associated with the FPI is linked to past problems of tolerance and diversity. In fact in the past, said Baswedan, the FPI has been involved in a number of cases of violence, including among others the 2008 attack on the National Alliance for Freedom of Religion and Faith (AKKBB) at the National Monument in Jakarta.

Baswedan is sure that the FPI does not represent a threat but rather is an organisation that can restore the pride of the state ideology of Pancasila. Currently he is inviting society to fight for unity in Indonesia. The kind of unity meant by Baswedan cannot exist in a situation of inequality.

"Unity must be present in justice. So we must fight for it together", said Baswedan. "It is very difficult in a situation of inequality to hope for unity, inequality can create divisions and envy", said Baswedan.

Baswedan invited the FPI to join in resolving the inequalities in society. According to Baswedan, with the existence of justice unity will follow. There is a common misconception, that when speaking about unity it is rarely counterbalanced with justice.

"God willing, this will not only restore diversity, but also fight for social justice for all Indonesian people". Earlier in the day Baswedan joined in pre-dawn Subuh prayers with members of the FPI.

This year's FPI anniversary was not attended by Rizieq Syihab because he is a suspect in a legal case. Rizieq is currently in Saudi Arabia and it is unknown when he will return to Indonesia. Rizieq is embroiled in a case related to an obscene WhatsApp chat with Firza Husein and has been declared a suspect.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was FPI Ulang Tahun, Anies Baswedan: Stigma Negatif Harus Diubah.]

Source: https://metro.tempo.co/read/news/2017/08/19/214901299/fpi-ulang-tahun-anies-baswedan-stigma-negatif-harus-diubah.

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