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Elections In Jakarta , Catholic’s Fear An “Islamic Governor”

ICC Note: On the eve of elections, some Christians express their concerns about one of Indonesia ’s political parties suspected intent to establish Sharia law.

by Mathias Hariyadi

8/7/07 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – The imminent elections for the governor of Jakarta are worrying religious and ethnic minorities; in a possible victory by the Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS) they see the erosion of the principles of national unity and secular values enshrined in Indonesian law and the nearing of an Islamic State. The Commission for Apostolate to the lay of the capital’s archdiocese has launched the alarm; the body also known by KAJ, has published a letter to the city’s inhabitants, on the eve of the vote due to take place tomorrow August 8th.

The letter notes that the PKS, of Islamic inspiration, “has never publicly expressed its political agenda. However, there have been scores of reason to believe that PKS’ political is to change what is the so-called ‘secular state” with new policies with the religion-based orientation”. The KAJ warns against “some radical right-wing Muslim-based parties and groups attempts to implement sharia at a local level (such as in Aceh); this is once again a “political violation” against the very basic principle of the Constitution and “ideas” voiced by Indonesia ’s Founding Fathers”.

The letter proceeds to highlight the closure of domestic churches and the violence carried out by Islamic Defender Front (FPI) against some night clubs in Jakarta , as “preliminary steps” towards an Islamic State. “The PKS –underlines Krissantono, KAJ president – has officially claimed and declared itself a “conservative Muslim-based party” and rejects any idea of “Muslim fundamentalist”, but in the real day-to-day politics the PKS has been the only political power in the modern Indonesian society which maintains that the morals of a certain religious belief (Islam) should be implemented in the country”….

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