There is no doubt that sectarianism and racism played significant roles in the election and social media which were heavily utilized during campaign, contributed to the increasing polarization among Indonesian.
These demonstrations also went live on social media. The 414 and 212 protests were discussed, commented on, supported, praised, opposed, and ridiculed, prior, during, and after these events. Using hashtags such as #411, #aksi411, #212, #aksi212, #aksibelaIslam (action to defend Islam), #aksibelaQuran (action to defend Quran), #aksidamai (peaceful action), #tangkapAhok (arrest Ahok), and #penjarakanAhok (jail Ahok), supporters and participants of the rallies posted texts, memes, photos, and videos on social media.
Meanwhile, supporters of Ahok also used social media to claim their version of nationalism and accuse the protesters of being simply racist haters whose values were incompatible with NKRI, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Some hailed Ahok as a saint and a martyr who was victimized by the politicization of religion. Others upheld him as a hero of pluralism and called the protests attacks on the spirit of the nation as embodied in the national motto “unity in diversity” (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika). The supporters of Ahok labeled their opponents Arabized (keArab-Araban), un-Indonesian, radical, fundamentalist, intolerant, and even terrorists.
Berdasarkan catatan SAFENET, 100 kasus persekusi terjadi sepanjang tahun 2017 dan dari sebanyak kasus tersebut, para pelaku persekusi hingga hari ini belum terungkap apalagi dipidanakan sekalipun apa yang mereka lakukan sudah jelas melanggar hukum. Mungkinkah aparat penegak hukum negeri ini takut sampai terkencing-kencing jika harus menertibkan kelompok yang demen melakukan persekusi?
Between January and June 2017, 59 cases of persecution against alleged critics of Islam and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) were reported in Indonesia.In May and June 2017, a 40-year-old Muslim woman working as a state hospital physician in West Sumatra had her workplace and home stormed by dozens of alleged members of the FPI (Front Pembela Islam/Islam Defender Front). She was threatened and intimidated—accused as an ulama (religious leader)-slandering pelacur (whore) and a Communist—for posting a status on Facebook that criticised Habib Rizieq Shihab, leader of the FPI. For safety reasons, legal aid moved her to Jakarta. A 15-year-old boy of Chinese descent in Jakarta had his house stormed at midnight, was dragged outside and beaten for making comments insulting Rizieq and the FPI, and then forced to sign a statement of apology by a group of people claiming to be members of the FPI. The family’s legal press release stated that there were more than 100 people involved, and that the family had been ejected by their landlord for fear of his house being stormed again. The boy’s mother, a widow, lost her job because her workplace had similar fears.
Tidak, pertanyaanku bukan menyalahkan Aparat Penegak Hukum. Hanya mempertanyakan, kenapa tak satupun mereka berani menangkap para pelaku persekusi. Bahkan dalam beberapa tayangan foto/video persekusi, Aparat malah seperti menemani para persekutor dengan alasan untuk menjaga ketertiban.
… throughout Indonesia’s modern history the distinction between state and non-state actors carrying out legitimate violence and coercion has not been clear cut. Extortion and harassment by street-level thugs, gangs, and militias—often lumped together as preman—are a ubiquitous part of everyday life.
indicate that the FPI members and sympathisers have grown savvy in using digital media to systematically identify and harass those they disagree with, both online and offline.
Fake news’ is being used by these groups to aggravate sectarian tensions and feelings of alienation.