President Joko Widodo says Islam in Indonesia is ‘tolerant’ as rights groups warn of rising fundamentalism

190726080558-07-cnn-indonesian-president-joko-widodo-intv-exlarge-169Source: CNN

By Anna CorenJane Sit and Helen Regan

Jakarta (CNN)In his first international television interview since being re-elected in May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied being concerned about the rise of fundamentalism in his country, saying that the Islam practiced there is tolerant and progressive.

“I still believe that Islam in Indonesia is a tolerant and moderate Islam. Islam in Indonesia is modern, it is forward thinking,” said the leader, who is popularly known as Jokowi — a nickname he said was given to him by a French businessman while he was working as a furniture salesman.
In his second term as leader, Joko faces an uphill battle of uniting the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and fighting what he calls “hoaxes and fake news that influenced the mind of the people.”
“We now have to restore the situation and work together to build this country,” he said, at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.

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