It’s pretty much an open secret that the 212 mass protest on December 2, 2016, that saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators demand the imprisonment of former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy against Islam, as well as many protests organized by Islamist organizations since, were heavily politicized. And now there’s an allegation that suggests the politicization of these protests has entered the academic world.
As reported by CNN Indonesia yesterday, several students at Universitas Ibnu Khaldun (UIK) in Bogor, a private Islamic tertiary education institution, went public about an alleged text message from one of their lecturers promising they wouldn’t have to take their midterms and would receive A’s if they attended the upcoming 212 anniversary event on Sunday (dubbed the “212 Grand Reunion”).
Not only that, the message also allegedly says that students who don’t attend the 212 Grand Reunion will not be graded.
“To us, this is an illogical policy, there is no relationship between academia and the reunion,” said UIK Student Council Chairman Yazid Bustomi, adding that they have filed an official complaint to the university.
However, UIK Dean Ending Bahrudin denied that the text message came from one of their lecturers and said that the idea for the midterm being replaced with attendance at the 212 Grand Reunion was actually suggested by some students.
“We already told them (the students) that 212 has nothing to do with academics,” he said.
That said, Ending said the university is going to look into the allegations against the lecturer regardless.
The 212 Grand Reunion’s organizers claim that millions will be coming to attend the anniversary event this Sunday and that they’ll be planting 1 million tauhid flags as part of the festivities. The organizers of last year’s anniversary claimed the event was attended by 7.5 million people, but the police said only 30,000 people actually showed up.
Police clearly are not expecting millions to show up on Sunday, saying that only a small-scale security detail made up of officers from the Gambir sub-district station have been assigned to handle the event.
One of the leaders behind the original movement, Kapitra Ampera, criticized the planned event by saying that it’s “too cruel” as it celebrates Ahok’s imprisonment for blasphemy.