Jakarta (Antara) – Political observer from Widya Mandira Catholic University Kupang, Dr. Marianus Kleden, argues that Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab lacks any major influence to control Indonesia's Muslim community.
His statement is in response to talks of bringing Rizieq back home, which is said to be one of many requirements prior to Jokowi and Prabowo's reconciliation.
"I don't believe Riaieq has enough power to control the Muslim community in Indonesia, because the Muslim community in the country is mostly affiliated to NU and Muhammadiyah (two of Indonesia's largest Muslim community)," said Dr. Marianus today, July 9.
According to Marianus, the two major Islamic organizations have maintained good relations with president Jokowi. "What is Rizieq's relevance, then? I guess it's better to ignore him," Marianus suggested.
He maintains that President and Vice President-elect Jokowi – Ma'ruf Amin should rather provide enough attention for the political elites who support Prabowo – Sandiaga Uno, rather than bring Rizieq into the picture.
Meanwhile, University of Muhammadiyah Kupang academic Dr. Ahmad Atang, MSI said that people in Prabowo's camp are taken hostage by Rizieq Shihab's interest.
"I might argue that the supporters of Prabowo are pretty exaggerating it by mortgaging the nation's interest for the personal interest of a habib," said Ahmad Atang.