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Vigilante leader warns 'you'll burn in hell' if you don't vote for pro-Islamic candidates

CNN Indonesia - November 22, 2018

Jakarta – The Secretary General of the Islamic Community Forum (FUI), Muhammad Al Khaththath, says that it is haram to vote for candidates – whether they are running for the executive or legislative in the 2019 general elections – that do not fight for the interests of Islam.

Khaththath also reminded the public about the Indonesian Ulama Council's (MUI, the country's peak Islamic religious body) fatwa (edict) on Voting Rights which was issued on 2009.

Khaththath said that the MUI fatwa regulates seven points on the character of leaders that must be elected by the Islamic community. This includes, among other things, leaders who devout and pious, honest, trusted, active and inspiring, have leadership abilities and fight for the interests of the Islamic community.

"So it is legally haram [forbidden under Islamic law] for the Islamic community to vote for a leader who does meet these seven criteria", said Khaththath at an event titled A Study on Islamic Thought at the Baiturrahman Mosque in Setia Budi, Jakarta, on Thursday November 22.

Khaththath continued by saying that leaders who are incapable of fighting for the Islamic community should be characterised as leaders who are zalim (cruel and despotic) and that it is haram to vote for them.

He was reluctant however to be precise about which figures or cite the names of leaders who are zalim or haram that are running in the 2019 legislative and presidential elections.

Nevertheless, he gave as an example former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama who was deemed to have been cruel and despotic towards the Islamic community.

"What kinds of acts are zalim? Take Ahok for example, he once said that articles in the constitution are higher than the holy verses [of the Koran], meaning that verses in the Koran should be ignored and should not exist and aren't valid, that's [the words of] an infidel", he said.

Khaththath then appealed to the public to be more astute in deciding which leaders are fighting for the Islamic community. If they do not vote [for such leaders], he said, the consequence will be that in the afterlife they will burn in the fires of hell as it is written in Article 113 of the 11th Chapter of the Koran.

He said that candidates who do not fight for the Islamic community will most certainly harm broader society if they are elected and hold government posts.

"Those who are even slightly inclined [to vote for such candidates] will burn in the fires of hell, especially if they become volunteers, become timses [campaign team] members, now will the timses be burnt just a little or a lot by the fires of hell? They will burn the most, because they are timses", he said.

Khaththath asserted religious teachings and politics cannot be separated in social life. He insisted that if there are parties that want to separate these two aspects then they are people who are sesat [deviant and misguided].

"So it seems that the reasons for being supported and supporting have a relationship with the fires of hell. Yes this is certain. Because religion and politics can't be separated. Those who say there is no relationship between politics and religion, they are misguided people", he said. (ain)


The FUI, which is best known for attacking minority religious groups and events which they deem as promoting LGBT or communism, was one of the groups involved the so-call "Defend Islam" actions against former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama – a ethnic Chinese Christian – who ran afoul of conservative Islamic groups after a doctored video circulated on social media that appeared to depict him insulting the Koran, when in fact he was warning the public not to trust politicians who quote from the holy book to convince them not to vote for non-Muslims.

In December 2016 Islamic groups under the banner of the Alumni 212 (of which Khaththath is a leading member) with the financial and political backing of sections of the political elite mobilised hundreds of thousands in series of mass protests in a successful effort to force police to charge Purnama with blasphemy. Purnama – who had been the clear favourite to win – subsequently lost the election to the Prabowo Subianto backed Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket and in May 2017 was convicted of blasphemy and jailed for two years.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Al Khaththath Ingatkan Kembali Fatwa MUI Memilih Pemimpin.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181122195743-32-348554/al-khaththath-ingatkan-kembali-fatwa-mui-memilih-pemimpin.

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