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Sacked Alumni 212 founder says Baswedan used FPI leader Rizieq Shihab to win election

Tempo - February 22, 2018

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – Recently sacked founder of the Presidium Alumni 212, Faizal Assegaf, has accused Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan of using Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq Shihab to win the Jakarta gubernatorial election.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Anies used Rizieq Shihab and the Islamic community for the interests of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, and this suspicion has long been highlighted internally within the Presidium 212", said Assegaf in a written message on Thursday February 22.

According to Assegaf, Baswedan's refusal to assist Rizieq Shihab's return to Indonesia, "Is a betrayal of the ulama [Islamic scholars] and the 212 organisations", said Assegaf.

Assegaf believes that Baswedan as the gubernatorial candidate that they backed must pay attention to and take positive action to find a solution the problems facing Rizieq Shihab.

"The fact is however that since occupying the soft seat [of the governorship], Anies appears to be favouring and inclined towards embracing just his own group".

"But when it's Habib Rizieq's turn to be arbitrarily mistreated, the one who fought to make him governor, he is just tossed aside", said Assegaf.

"Anies must be aware that without the great contribution of Rizieq Shihab, the ulama and 212 organisations, he would never have become the ruler of this country's capital. The 'rung in a ladder politics' ['politik anak tangga' – to use others as steps to climb the ladder to power] approach demonstrated by Anies just took advantage of the ulama and the Islamic community", said Assegaf.

"After achieving his goal of power, the aspirations and problems faced by the ulama and the people have been abandoned. [We] must be on guard against this inelegant behaviour", said Assegaf. He also called on Baswedan to meet with Rizieq Shihab in Mecca.

Assegaf was dismissed from the Presidium Alumni 212 after he made a statement on February 17 calling on Rizieq Shihab to return home to Indonesia to face justice like the "noble" former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

When asked about the request for him to meet with Rizieq Shihab in Saudi Arabia, Governor Baswedan simply shook his head. "Oh, it's like that, yes? I have no comment", he said at the Jakarta City Hall on Wednesday February 21.


1. Fugitive Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is currently hiding in Saudi Arabia having fled Indonesia after being charged under the anti-pornography law last year over alleged steamy WhatsApp chats with a woman named Firza Husein which went viral on social media.

2. The Presidium 212 were the organisers of the so-call Defend Islam actions which succeeded in mobilising massive protests against former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in November and December last year which eventually led to him being jailed on trumped up blasphemy charges and loosing the election to the Prabowo Subianto backed Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno ticket.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Alumni 212 yang Dipecat: Anies Baswedan Manfaatkan Rizieq Shihab.]

Source: https://metro.tempo.co/read/1063402/alumni-212-yang-dipecat-anies-baswedan-manfaatkan-rizieq-shihab.

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