Anti-Ahok protesters now defending Trump business partner and ‘infidel’ Hary Tanoe

CNN Indonesia – July 14, 2017
Alumni 212 Presidium Chair Ansufri Idrus Sambo (middle) - July 14, 2017 (CNN)
Alumni 212 Presidium Chair Ansufri Idrus Sambo (middle) - July 14, 2017 (CNN)

Filani Olyvia, Jakarta – Presidium Alumni 212 chairperson Ansufri Idrus Sambo says that his organisation does not just defend ulama (Islamic scholars), but anyone who is mistreated, even if they are deemed to kafir (infidel, unbeliever).

The Presidium says it does not discriminate in providing support. “We must defend anyone [even] an infidel who is being mistreated. We don’t discriminate”, said Sambo at the offices of the Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in Central Jakarta on Friday July 14.

He said that one particular person who is an infidel but should be defended is business tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo. The chairperson of the Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo) has been declared a suspect for allegedly threatening an Attorney General’s Office official last year through an SMS message.

Sambo believes that Hary Tanoe is a victim of political revenge for former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama loosing the Jakarta elections earlier this year.

Sambo said that the Presidium Alumni 212 would defend the boss of the PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) Group because Tanoe has helped their group greatly in the past.

Before deciding to help Hary Tanoe, Sambo admitted receiving advice to the effect that the Presidium does not just assist people who are Muslims. This assistance is in the form of solidarity to support those that are being abused because they opposed Ahok.

“The person we are defending, he’s being mistreated, he’s helped a lot, also because someone asked us], yeah so we’ll defend him. It doesn’t have any relationship with what’s being called, ‘Is this uztaz [Islamic teacher] defending kafir’”, said Sambo.

Sambo explained that the defense to be provided by the Presidium for Hary Tanoe would be in the form of submitting a complaint with the Komnas HAM. Sambo said that the Presidium will be urging the Komnas HAM to establish an investigation team to look into allegations of criminalisation.

“So that the Komnas HAM forms an investigation team, as they have done for other people that have been criminalised”, said Sambo.

Today the Presidium will again go to the Komnas HAM’s offices. They will submit a number of complaints, one of which is over the criminalisation of Hary Tanoe. (pmg)


Along with vigilante groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Alumni 212 was one of the groups involved in the “Defend Islam” protests organised by the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) against former governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in Jakarta in December demanding that he be jailed on trumped up blasphemy charges. One of the stated reasons for opposing Ahok’s reelection was that Muslims cannot be led by non-Muslims (infidels). Billionaire Hary Tanoe, who is Donald Trump’s business partner in Indonesia and like Ahok is also a Christian of Chinese decent, openly supported the election ticket of Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno who went on to win the election. Tanoe, who is close to former Special Forces (Kopassus) General Prabowo Subianto, is also widely believed to have been one of the key financial backers behind the anti-Ahok rallies.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Alumni 212: Kafir yang Dizalimi Kami Bela.]