Friski Riana, Jakarta – Indonesia's former two-term vice president Jusuf Kalla in an interview with Tempo Magazine, as many other experts have, opined about the return of Rizieq Shihab and the large crowd that gathered in welcoming home the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader amidst the strict COVID-19 health protocol.
According to Jusuf Kalla, the attention Rizieq's return garnered is worthy of further attention as he argues it fills a vacuum of a Muslim leader that should be sending the two important Islamic requisites from the Quran, amar ma'ruf nahi munkar, which translates to 'enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.'
"At that moment Habib Rizieq Shihab entered the picture with a significant number of followers," said Jusuf Kalla in the November 23-29 edition of Tempo Magazine.
He elaborates that Islamic political parties that are moderate are actually expected to implement the Quranic message but he believes has remained pragmatic. Kalla believes the Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah have been busy spreading their da'wa and other social attempts which created a leadership vacuum as its byproduct and opened the door for other figures to take command.
"We shouldn't be too focused on da'wa but must also voice out the amar ma'ruf nahi munkar," he said. "This is because we are too into politics which eventually caused the vacuum that is filled by Rizieq Shihab."
However, Jusuf Kalla made it clear that such a situation is not unacceptable but he hopes Islamic organizations need to consolidate with other organizations to also have an alternative figure. He also explains that as long as Rizieq's followers are acting within the law it would be considered acceptable, however, their mass-gatherings took place amidst the pandemic which bans such activities.