Indonesian Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at a mosque in Banda Aceh. Over the next two years, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will need political acumen to counter the opposition's appeal to Islamist sentiment and keep his ruling coalition together.
The past eight months have brought political Islam to the fore in Indonesia. Islamic groups have proved themselves a credible challenge to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his ruling coalition, led by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). In the run-up to Jakarta's gubernatorial race, Islamic civil society groups, with support from the opposition, staged massive protests against incumbent candidate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who as an ethnic Chinese Christian, is a double minority in Indonesia. Purnama lost re-election in late April to a candidate backed by the opposition Gerindra Party. And on May 9, he was sentenced to two years in prison on blasphemy charges that Islamic groups had leveled against him. The defeat was a blow for Jokowi, who was widely expected to choose Purnama -- his former deputy during the president's days as governor of Jakarta -- as his running mate in the next presidential election. That...
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