Jakarta – Thousands of people "safeguarding" a challenge to the 2019 presidential election result at the Constructional Court by the loosing presidential ticket of Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno converged on Jl Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Thursday June 27.
There were two banners in the crowd with pictures of fugitive Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) supreme leader Rizieq Shihab.
The banners were initially put up in front of the Ministry of Defense building but the crowd then moved them near to the razor wire barricade located close to the National Museum.
The first banner measuring 1.5 metres with white writing had a drawing of Shihab on it and read, "The Islamic Community Needs Habib Rizieq, Bring Habib Home", referring to the honorific title Habib meaning Islamic scholar from the Sayyid community.
"The elections were destroyed by fraud which was clearly exhibited, you accuse those reporting fraud of treason, you criminalise ulama [Islamic clerics], you pay no heed to the 500 souls who died [election officials who died during the elections], you call differences of opinion hate speech", continued the writing on the banner.
The second banner meanwhile showed a photograph of Shihab's upper body with a blue background. Standing at around 1.5 metres, the banner read "Indonesia Calling Habib Rizieq, Bring Habib Home".
It was unclear which group initiated the printing of the banners although several participants at the action who saw the banners enthusiastically took selfies with the Shihab banner as a background.
One of the speakers at the action also conveyed a similar sentiment saying he hoped that Shihab can soon return home to Indonesia because the public misses him.
"Hopefully he can soon return home to Indonesia and bring God's mercy to the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia]. We miss you, we love you, until Indonesia is again full of the values of dignity and God's blessing, Allah is great!", shouted the speaker. (rzr/arh)
A fervent supporter of loosing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, fugitive FPI leader Rizieq Shihab has been hiding in Saudi Arabia for more than a year. Although police have dropped charges related to an infamous pornography case that first led him to flee the country, he has numerous legal cases pending against him including charges of blasphemy against Christianity and state symbols.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pesan Rindu untuk Rizieq Shihab di Aksi Kawal MK".]