IPAC Report 58: Indonesian Islamists and Post-Election Protests in Jakarta
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[Jakarta, 23 July 2019] The low Islamist turnout in protests following the April 2019 presidential election reflects a changing relationship between Islamists and the state, with the government moving more aggressively against “radical Islam”, loosely defined, and wary Islamists avoiding risk. The challenge for President Jokowi in his second term is to ensure that policies aimed at undermining extremism do not exacerbate the political polarisation that the election revealed.
“Indonesian Islamists and the Post-Election Protests”, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), examines why the mobilising capacity of the groups that brought down Jakarta governor Ahok in 2016 was not as much in evidence in 2019. It looks at how a more confrontational policy from the police changed the political calculus of the Islamists and increased the perceived costs of their tactical alliance with defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto. It concludes, however, that Islamists are far from being a spent force, and the Jokowi government must be careful to avoid programs in his second term that could inadvertently reunite them.