The escalating Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, in which tens of thousands belonging to the Muslim-minority group have fled their homes due to allegedly brutal attacks by the Myanmar military, has led to outrage throughout the world but especially in Muslim-majority Indonesia, where hardline Islamist organizations have co-opted anger over the humanitarian crisis and turned it into an issue to spread religious hatred – as demonstrated by this poster for a hardliner protest taking place at the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta today, which features a demonic version of Wirathu, a nationalist Burmese Buddhist monk (who has been called “The Buddhist Face of Terror” by Time magazine).
IKUTILAHAKSI KEMANUSIAANFRONT PEMBELA ISLAM" SELAMATKAN MUSLIM ROHINGNYA "RABU, 6 SEPTEMBER 2017DI KEDUBES…
Hardline organizations such as the Islamic Defenders Front (who say thousands of their members have volunteered to go to Myanmar to wage jihad to protect the Rohingya) have planned another demonstration against Myanmar for Friday at Indonesia’s iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site Borobudur, which is the world’s largest Buddhist temple.
GNPF MUI, ALUMNI 212 BESERTA LEBIH DARI 200 ORMAS SIAP MENUJU MAGELANG #STOP PEMBANTAIAN ROHINGYAAKSI AKBAR DOA,…
The protest was being called “212 Alumni Peaceful Action To Defend Rohingya” (212 being a reference to the massive anti-Ahok protest on December 2). The protest’s lead organizer, Anang Imamudin, told Tempo yesterday that around 250 groups from all over Java, Sumatra and Maluku had confirmed they would join the protest and that it would bring out similar numbers as the 212 protest (which is estimated to have had around 200,000 participants).
Other major Islamic organizations have also condemned the plans to protest at Borobudur. Among the critics is Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, chairman of the Ansor Youth Movement (GP Ansor), the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia and the world’s biggest Islamic organization, who said the demo was based on false logic and ignorance about the situation in Myanmar.
“These people are drunk on religion. The incident in Rakhine and Borobudur Temple, which is in Indonesia, are not related at all,” Yaqut said as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
Local police in Magelang have also said that no protests would be allowed at Borobudur due to its status as a national monument and have announced that the demonstration would instead take place on Friday at An-Nur Sawitan Mosque in Magelang, a short distance from the temple.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!