FPI leader and former Jakarta ‘counter governor’ Fahrurrozi Ishaq dies from COVID-19

Supporters of FPI leader Fahrurrozi Ishaq attending his wake on Oct. 27, 2020. Photo: Istimewa
Supporters of FPI leader Fahrurrozi Ishaq attending his wake on Oct. 27, 2020. Photo: Istimewa

Fahrurrozi Ishaq, a leader of hardline Islamist group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), passed away this morning days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Fahrurrozi tested positive for the coronavirus after undergoing a swab test at the National Police Hospital in East Jakarta on Sunday. He reportedly died from the disease this morning and a funeral was held near his residence in Jatinegara, East Jakarta. The funeral was attended by a large number of his supporters, many of whom did not adhere to COVID-19 protocols, local media have reported.

Based on photos that have circulated, Fahrurrozi’s wake and burial also did not comply with COVID-19 protocols, with many mourners coming into close contact with the deceased.

While he has kept somewhat of a low profile in recent years, Fahrurrozi was often in the news between 2014 and 2015 as he was chosen by FPI as Jakarta’s “counter governor” in opposition to then-actual Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. 

Though the counter governor title was nothing more than an empty position in FPI’s fantasy government, Fahrurrozi, along with other FPI leaders such as Rizieq Shihab, became the face of a resistance by hardline Islamists against a non-Muslim governor. 

Fahrurrozi and Rizieq eventually got what they wanted when Ahok lost his bid for reelection and was imprisoned for two years over a highly dubious conviction for blasphemy against Islam, which spurred mass protests led by FPI and other Islamist groups.

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