News analysis

Indonesia elections: Will Ma'ruf Amin's current push for moderate Islam hold?

Doubts over sincerity of V-P candidate, given his well-known conservative leanings

For years, senior Islamic cleric Ma'ruf Amin has been one of the architects behind controversial religious rulings in Indonesia that critics say have oppressed minorities, but since he was unveiled as incumbent Joko Widodo's running mate in the upcoming presidential polls, Dr Ma'ruf seems to have started singing a different tune.

The testimony provided by the chairman of the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), the country's top Islamic clerical body, two years back helped place Jakarta's Chinese-Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama behind bars for blasphemy against Islam.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2019, with the headline 'Will Ma'ruf Amin's current push for moderate Islam hold?'. Subscribe