October 19, 2012
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Newly-installed Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said Thursday (October 18th) he will revise the gubernatorial decree on the duties and responsibilities of his Christian deputy governor, removing tasks related to Islamic matters, The Jakarta Globe reported.
"It's easy (to revise it) as it is only a gubernatorial decree; it can be done in one day," Jokowi, said, according to Antara News Agency. "It shouldn't be a problem."
In the existing decree, at least eight positions related to Islamic matters are assigned to the deputy governor, such as heading the Qur'an Language and Science Institute, the advisory boards of the Qur'an Recital Development Institute as well as the Indonesia Mosque Library Council. The deputy governor also heads the Indonesia Mosque Council.
On Tuesday, hardline group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) rallied in front of the Jakarta Legislative Council, urging the government to revise the decree. Salim Alatas, of the Jakarta chapter of the FPI, said the city's newly elected second-in-command, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, should not be in charge of Islamic matters.
"The problem is that Ahok is Christian," Alatas said. "The tasks and positions given to Ahok contradict Islamic Sharia law. It goes against Sharia law if a non-Muslim is appointed as amil zakat (an official in charge of collecting and distributing alms) or as an advisor to Islamic institutions.
"Ahok cannot fill that position. We want the decree revised accordingly."
Jokowi said Thursday duties related to Islamic matters could be handled by him or by other Jakarta officials.