Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan took part in dawn prayers during a commemoration of Indonesian independence and the 21st anniversary of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) at the Rawa Badak Stadium in Koja, North Jakarta, on Saturday August 24.
Baswedan arrived at around 4.45 am just before dawn prayers were to begin wearing a light-blue koko shirt (a pajama-like garment) and a black peci hat.
He was immediately directed to alight onto a small stage were the imam (Islamic leader) would lead the dawn prayer. Following the prayers, Baswedan used the opportunity to give greeting to those present.
"This morning the sky is clear in Jakarta and it is as if it marks this dawn full of blessing. Here we give thanks to God for the 21 year journey of the FPI", said Baswedan, which was greeted with shouts of God is great from the FPI members at the event.
According to Baswedan, 21 years of age for an organisation is still very young. He said he hopes that the FPI can continue to develop and provide a positive contribution to the Islamic community as well as the Indonesian nation as a whole.
"It needs to be underlined that the journey is still a long one, but the age of civilisation and the Islamic community's struggle is still young", he said.
Baswedan also said that he hopes that the FPI will continue to contribute as a bond of unity.
"In the future I hope that we can show, even more so, that the presence of the FPI is a bond of unity in the Islamic community and the Indonesian nation. We stand guard with measures and a posture which promotes social concern. We in Jakarta have for some time very much felt the presence (of the FPI) and the benefits it provides", said Baswedan.
Baswedan also took the opportunity to convey his greetings to fugitive FPI leader Rizieq Shihab who was absent because he is still in Saudi Arabia.
"The one we respect and love, Habib Rizieq Shihab who is witnessing [this event] live from there (Saudi Arabia). Hopefully he will always be blessed with health and a long life during the period of struggle", he said. (ryh/evn)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Anies Baswedan Ikut Salat Subuh dalam Milad FPI ke-21".]