KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Sectarian and religious lines exploited during the gubernatorial election period has given Jakarta the status of "most intolerant city in Indonesia," a survey conducted by human rights group Setara Institute revealed on Thursday.
Jakarta was at the bottom of a list of 94 cities studied from November 2016 to October 2017. The study, called "The 2017 Index of Tolerant Cities," measured cities' midterm regional development plans, government actions and statements, discriminatory policies, intolerant acts and demographic composition based on the harmony among people of different groups.
In a similar study published in 2015, Jakarta ranked 64th.
“Jakarta’s tolerance index decreased because of a number of events related to elections, for example, refusal to pray for the deceased or politically motivated religious sermons,” Setara deputy chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos said.
During and prior to the election, banners threatening not to religiously treat the bodies of deceased Muslims who supported incumbent governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian and Chinese-Indonesian, were placed in some parts of the capital.
Bonar said he suggested the current Jakarta administration, led by newly elected Governor Anies Baswedan, heal the wounds after the divisive election by empowering public interaction among different faiths.
“The government should approach religious clerics and organizations and encourage them to spread the message of tolerance,” he said.