November 4, 2016

STRONG HORSE: Hard-Line Strain of Islam Gains Ground in Indonesia, World’s Largest Muslim Country.

Police said an estimated 100,000 people turned out for a rally called by hard-line Muslim groups against the capital’s Christian governor, whom they accuse of having committed blasphemy.

Turnout was lower than some organizers had predicted, after the nation’s largest Muslim organizations this week discouraged their members from attending.

President Joko Widodo had met with other political leaders amid calls for calm, but critics say he has been too slow since taking office in 2014 to respond to worsening tension for fear of being labeled anti-Muslim.

In a recent interview, Mr. Widodo said religious and political leaders had a responsibility to “cool temperatures down,” and he vowed to protect minorities.

“We are one of the most tolerant countries in the world,’’ Mr. Widodo told The Wall Street Journal. “My government won’t tolerate any discrimination.”

Indonesia has made a lot of progress in the last 25 years, largely dismissed by both the Obama and Bush administrations. We may be beginning to pay a price for focusing on the country’s longstanding problems instead of encouraging more successes.

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