Indonesia: Islamists demand removal of Christian appointee

Monday, September 9, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Worthy News)-- Islamists in Indonesia are demanding the removal of a new political appointee in a Muslim-majority region of West Java because she's a Christian, according to Barnabas Aid.

Susan Jasmine Zulkifli was appointed the sub-district head of Lenteng Agung by the governor of Jakarta in June, but on August 26, Islamists presented a "petition" calling for her dismissal. However, the petition's 2,300 names were supported by only 1,500 photocopied IDs.

Two days later, the petitioners held a demonstration with only 100 protestors, but Islamist activist Mochamad Rusli said he would rally many more over the coming weeks if Governor Joko Widodo doesn't accede to their demands.

Zulkifli’s critics claim that she's not fit for her post because as a Christian she can't participate in Muslim religious ceremonies and have called for her to be transferred to an area with a Christian majority. But Zulkifli replied that many on her staff are Muslims who could participate in her place.

The opposition to Zulkifli is part of a wider Islamist discontent with Widodo and his Christian deputy, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, whose inauguration ceremony had to be delayed because of protests by Indonesians who oppose any collaboration between Muslim and Christian leaders.