The historic Muslims’ rally in Jakarta on 4 November or 411 was not reported properly by many high-profile Medias in the region. The media coverage was not only unbalanced, but it did what is called “the media black-out”. Shutting down and silencing the essence of the message of the 411 march. Label “hardliners” or Muslim “hard-line” has become major stigma and framing in almost all media in Singapore, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines, which all networked through AFP news agency. For example ABC Australia made its report entitled “Jakarta protests: Hardline Islamists call for city’s governor to be arrested over Koran comments”. Even they also did significant “diminution” of participants’ number as well, for example the Bangkok Post wrote only 50,000, which entitled “50,000 Muslim hardliners rally against governor in Jakarta”.
This situation made me remember an extreme call from Endy Bayuni, a liberal journalist figure (Jakarta Post senior editor), “Don’t give any room for the hard-liners! Please cover them when they’re violating the law, but don’t give space to small group of people when they rally against something absurd. They used the media effectively and deceive the media to suit their own means,” he called the Indonesian media to work together to ensure that the Islamic extremist group that he labeled with “radicals and extremists” does not have publications by the media. (Jakarta Globe, May 9th, 2013)
The truth is, that historical action was followed by more than a million (even some media said more than two million) people from the Muslims. Aerial photographs are more than enough evidence to show the large number of participants. They had come from all over Indonesia; from Aceh to Papua; from the young to the elderly, men and women, from ordinary people, professionals, and artists to officials. They set off at their own expense or joint venture. People from all over the country move sincerely and spontaneously demand the same message: arrest Ahok and stand for Quran!
Ironically, this crystal clarity of reality could not be seen by the blind-eye of many liberal media. They are too frenzied to see the undeniable strength desire of united Indonesian Muslims for loving their noble Quran. They are also too busy producing an evil narrative against Islam and Muslims.
Rather than continue silencing and censuring the voices of those supporting Islamic values, or even blackouts of the vital aspiration of Muslims, the media should fulfil the purpose of objective and true investigative journalism, which is to serve the objectivity of journalism itself: post information and reality objectively and independently to the public by investigating and asking the pressing questions of why so many in Indonesia stand for Quran and reject Kuffar leaders and secular values. These media also must have the courage and bravery to face up the reality that Muslims revival is happening everywhere, so they should advocate for a deeper understanding of what is Islam, what is Sharia and what is Khilafah.
However, such blatant hypocrisy shown by these liberal media is actually just another proof of the failure of democratic secular system and an explanation of why growing number of Muslims reject democracy and embrace Islam as a system that is able to brighten their future of political, economic, and social development. Indeed, Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,
يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ
“They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.” (Ash-Shaf 61:8)
Member of Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir