TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta governor candidate Anies Baswedan's meeting with the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) chief Rizieq Shihab at the FPI Headquarters in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, has raised a furor among Indonesian netizens. The hashtag #FPIDukungAnies (FPI Supports Anies) began to trend on Twitter shortly afterward. Some expressed their support for Anies, while others were against it.
Anies met with the FPI to attend a discussion on transnational ideologies in globalization era. The major speakers in the discussion were Prof. Dr. Mohammad Baharun Dr. Abdul Chair Ramadhan and Dr. Hidayat Nur Wahid. In the FPI’s official Twitter account, the FPI chief Rizieq said that the event was held to discuss foreign ideologies which are not compatible with Indonesian Muslims beliefs.
On the occasion, as stated by FPI’s Twitter account, Anies addressed some accusations directed at him that he was a follower of Shiite, Wahhabism and Liberal Islam. “I’m [part of] Ahlu as-Sunnah wal Jama'ah [the followers of Sunni Islam], not otherwise.”
In his previous statements, including those made at Tempo.co’s office, Anies always said that he is used to being on the receiving end of various rumors. “I have been on the receiving end of rumors whenever I meet certain groups,” he said recently.
He said that there were rumors that he was a follower of Shiite teachings and Wahhabism, despite the fact the Shiite and Wahhabi Muslims are at odds with each other. “It’s bizarre, isn’t it?” he said at Tempo’s office.
According to Anies, meeting with a lot of groups and attending discussions are the message the Anies-Sandi pairing want to convey, among others. “We are open, we can meet, to have a dialogue and share thoughts with many groups, with anyone. We therefore always attend discussion and dialogue events on a wide range of issues,” he said.
He added, “Jakarta is for all, and every people of Jakarta reserves the right to hold a discussion with Anies-Sandi pairing” he said.
The meeting was promptly exploited by Anies’ oppositions to attack him by creating the hashtag #FPIDukungAnies on Twitter, which at one point sits in the eighth place on Indonesia’s Trends. The hashtag might have been seen by 154,000 accounts in the past hours, with 82 accounts tweeted the hashtag.
A Twitter account who supports gubernatorial candidate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama @PartaiSocmed wrote, “Thank you my friends. You are so kind and generous. Tonight we have helped Pak Anies to make #FPIdukungANIES... [FPI supports Anies]."
The FPI, however, has denied giving official endorsement to Anies Baswedan. “We will only recommend [people] to vote for a trusted Muslim gubernatorial candidate," the FPI wrote on its Twitter account.
The FPI went on to write, “CRAZY, Ahok supporters create the hashtag #FPIDukungAnies, whereas yesterday they insisted that #FPIDukungAHY [FPI Supports another gubernatorial candidate Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono or AHY]. It doesn’t matter, though, at least we don’t support a DEFENDANT”.
Anies himself has yet to comment on the hashtag #FPIDukungAnies.
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