Religion Again Looks to Dominate Indonesia’s Contentious Presidential Election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second left, and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin, left, with their opponents Prabowo Subianto, second right, and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, right, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second left, and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin, left, with their opponents Prabowo Subianto, second right, and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, right, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
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Already two months underway, Indonesia’s long presidential campaign is shaping up to be deceptively similar to its divisive race four years ago, which was marred by political smears and religious tensions. Incumbent President Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, finds himself facing off for the second time against Prabowo Subianto, a former army general, but with identity politics and religion crowding other issues out of political debate in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. Both candidates have secured themselves within Islamist camps, to be safe from accusations of impiety. But in doing so, they have aligned themselves with violators of […]

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