In Indonesia a new breed of politician is on the rise.
The Wall Street Journal:
Fifteen years after the overthrow of strongman Suharto, and less than a year before the first transition between two directly elected presidents, leaders that bear little resemblance to their predecessors are emerging in this young democracy of more than 240 million people.
They are mayors, governors and technocrats with a reputation for clean hands in a country dogged by corruption. Many have risen with little money and few connections in a political system where leaders traditionally hail from the military or dynastic families………………
In Wonosobo, a small town in Central Java, Kholiq Arif, a religious leader and now district head, has gained a measure of fame for allowing people of minority faiths to get a fair shake in his community. In recent years, right-wing groups have carried out violent acts against one group of minority Muslims in particular, the Ahmadiyah.
Mr. Kholiq said some 6,500 Ahmadis reside in Wonosobo and are welcome to pray at any mosque.
“There are plenty of differences in Islam, even within the NU,” or Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, he said. “So why not embrace them? Faith is a private matter, and my job is to ensure that no single belief overrides any other.”