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No room for sharia in Jakarta: Observers

Jakarta Globe - April 12, 2017

Jakarta Political observers have slammed the idea of implementing Islamic law, or sharia, in the capital city, which has been promoted by gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan and his running mate Sandiaga Uno.

Jeiry Sumampouw of NGO watchdog the Indonesian Voters' Committee (Tepi) said the use of the sensitive issue is not going to help the pair in Jakarta's gubernatorial election.

"The issue is not a leverage [for Anies]. It's insignificant. It can only have a negative impact for him," Jeiry said in a discussion in Jakarta on Tuesday (11/04).

He admitted there are voters in favor of sharia, but not many. The majority of Jakarta residents would not accept Islamic law and may instead turn against Anies and Sandiaga. "It could be seen in several recent surveys, where the candidate pair No. 3 saw a significant decline in electability," Jeiry said.

Jakarta, according to Jeiry, is very pluralistic and has residents of diverse origins and religious backgrounds. This would change if sharia were imposed. The implementation of Islamic law would also contravene the Pancasila state ideology and the 1945 Constitution.

Another researcher, Arif Susanto of the State Affairs and Islamic Studies Center (PSIK), said the idea of having sharia in Jakarta rests on inconsistent logic, by which residents of the religiously diverse city would be forced to follow the teachings of one religion.

Other issues, he added, such dealing with poverty, traffic congestion and corruption, are of much higher importance. "This is the inconsistency; they do not fight for the important issues, but produce unnecessary ideas," Arif said.

Anies and Sandiaga have promised the implementation of Islamic law, if they win the election. They see sharia as perfectly fit for the capital city.

Source: http://jakartaglobe.id/news/no-room-sharia-jakarta-observers/.

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