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Rejecting campaigns by election contestants at places of worship


By: Ahmad Dzul Ilmi Muis)*

All elements of society must be able to firmly reject the practice of campaigning in places of worship, the article is indeed in violation of the rules, moreover not positioning and having to use places of worship as they should, namely as a place to carry out activities of worship to God Almighty.

General Election (Pemilu) is a means of implementing people’s sovereignty to be able to elect members of the DPR, DPD, President and Vice President as well as to elect DPRD members, which are carried out directly, publicly, freely, confidentially, honestly and fairly within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

One of the crucial stages in the election is the existence of a political campaign as an arena for election participants to compete to be able to gain sympathy from the public, however, if this is done by justifying various methods, then of course it will also give birth to leaders who are not trustworthy to the people.

Therefore, the entire process of the election stages including the campaign should be carried out in accordance with the rules in PKPU which writes down the principles in elections are independent, honest, fair, legal certainty, orderly, open, proportional, professional, accountable, effective and efficient.

Chairman of the Election Supervisory Board of the Republic of Indonesia (Bawaslu RI), Rahmat Bagja rejects the practice of politicization by using sensitive issues, especially ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup (SARA). Not only that, but he also absolutely disagrees that places of worship are actually used for campaigning for a person or election participant.

Firmly, Rahmat Bagja asked all levels of Bawaslu to further improve their work and also carry out proper monitoring. According to him, the time has come for the politicization of SARA to be immediately abolished, because places of worship should not be used as campaigning platforms.

Never mind conducting campaigns, in fact, according to the Bawaslu chairman, he also completely disagrees if places of worship are used to carry out outreach, let alone carry out campaigns.

Furthermore, the true use of places of worship is as a place to offer prayers to God and regarding that matter, places of worship are very open to everyone. However, if a place of worship has been entered with political interests, it is very feared that congregations will be compartmentalized because they do not share one principle.

So, even though a place of worship is actually the right of all worshipers to be able to access it, don’t let this place of worship become a competition arena for political parties (political parties) who are contesting in the upcoming 2024 general election. Because, for example, this happens, divisions within the ummah will occur, so that there will be a certain labeling of place of worship A as if it is only owned and accessible by certain political parties.

For example, if there has been stigma and labeling or compartmentalization of a place of worship that is labeled identical with a particular political party, then it will actually make people not worship in that place because of differences in political views. Therefore, the practice of politicization using SARA issues must be rejected by all elements of society.

Many regulations have also been written very explicitly that politicizing SARA is something that must be rejected and cannot be done even in principle, including violations of the practice of conducting money politics.

It is known that a few moments earlier, the Minister of Religion (Menag), Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said that his party had made strict rules regarding the prohibition of political activity in places of worship. This rule, in particular, concerns the passage of the upcoming 2024 elections.

According to him, it is very important for all elements of society and the public to be able to continue to protect houses of worship by not damaging them and adding political elements to them.

Meanwhile, a number of interfaith leaders have also agreed to firmly reject the use of places of worship for practical political activities. This agreement was contained in the Declaration of Religious Peace which was jointly signed on January 14, 2023.

One of the representatives of these interfaith leaders, Habib Husein Ja’far Al Hadar said that the interfaith leaders gathered to equalize their views and commit to each other not to use houses of worship as a place to carry out campaigns or other practical political activities, as indeed there is a prohibition stated in the Election Law.

In this activity, these interfaith leaders also committed to strengthening national commitment, strengthening religious moderation and also avoiding all forms of hatred.

A place of worship actually has to be used and functioned as it should, as the name implies, a place of worship is a place that is devoted to performing all kinds of forms of worship to God Almighty. Therefore, if there is a practice that violates the basic use of a place of worship, let alone to the extent that it is used only for practical political purposes such as campaigning, then all elements of society must be able to firmly reject this.

)* The author is an Alumni of FISIP Unair

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