Protecting the minority is the backbone principle of Indonesia. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before we see the demise of our country.
French philosopher Michael Foucault pointed out that what emerges as dominant voice within a society is not necessarily the right one. But most Indonesian politicians seem to possess the naive belief that the Islamic Defenders Front’s brand of vigilante activism represents the voice of the country’s Muslims.
Officials seem confident that courting the hard-line organization is somehow equivalent to appeasing all Muslim voters, and thus securing the larger chance of winning over 90 percent of the country’s 240 million population — this logic is not only deeply flawed, it can also turn toxic.
For all its noise, the so-called religious organization, or FPI, has only thousands of supporters nationwide and would therefore be meaningless in a direct presidential election, which has more than 170 million registered voters.