M. Faiz Zaki, Jakarta – Former figureheads of the 212 demonstrations on Dec. 2, 2016, are set to hold a 212 reunion this year on Saturday morning. The event will take place at the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta from 3 to 9 a.m. local time.
The Head of Steering Committee of the Munajat Kubro 212, Muhammad bin Huesin Al-Atas confirmed that no running presidential candidates to the 2024 general elections are invited to the 212 reunion.
"The committee guarantees that no presidential-vice presidential candidates or any political figures are invited to talk on stage during Munajat Kubro 212," he said in a press conference at Al-Ittihaad Mosque in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The reason for this decision was to ensure political neutrality, although the committee also does not forbid any running candidates to attend the 212 reunion.
Political attributes are not allowed in the event, the committee affirmed. "This is our answer to those who worry that this will turn into a political stage," Muhammad bin Husein Al-Atas said.
However, the 212 reunion committee invited several national figures such as Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and the Imam of Istiqlal Mosque Nasaruddin Umar. They also invited the Acting Governor of Jakarta Heru Budi Hartono and Metro Jaya Police Chief Inspector General Karyoto to attend the event.
Muhammad also said that several figureheads or Islamic organizations were invited, including Rizieq Shihab of the Islamic Brotherhood Front who attended last year's reunion.
The Defend Islam Action or 212 Action in 2016 was a mass protest against the governor of Jakarta at the time, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok to be apprehended for alleged blasphemy.
The protest was believed to be politically motivated since Ahok was running at the regional elections against Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno, who had close ties to the figureheads of 212 action.