Mike Pence Praises Indonesia’s Moderate Islamic Culture During Visit

Vice President Mike Pence visited the country of Indonesia on his Eastern tour and met with President Joko Widodo in the nation’s capital of Jakarta, yesterday. This is good news in the wake of the governor’s election in Jakarta being won by a far right conservative Muslim candidate, just a couple of days ago.

Mike Pence met with Joko Widodo better known by his nickname “Jokowi”, a day after suffering a political set back and loss, when one of his political ally’s lost the governor’s election to a far right conservative Islamic political party for the city’s governor position.

Mike Pence’s visit couldn’t have come at a better time, where he visited a Mosque of the most populous Muslim country in the world, with their 250 million inhabitants from mostly a very moderate Muslim culture. Mike Pence praised Indonesia’s democracy and heaped even more praise on their moderate form of Islam on Thursday, whilst in the capital with Jokowi.

Visiting the Mosque in Jakarta. Credit: DailyMail

The recent result in the governor’s election in Jakarta, won by a divisive Islamic conservative campaign, has worried many and it has undermined the image of Indonesia abroad, as a tolerant Muslim nation. Which is why seeing Mike Pence meeting with President Jokowi is a very good sign, signalling both of the nations very close ties.

Mike Pence’s praise on Indonesia’s moderate Muslim culture is justified, Indonesia isn’t Saudi Arabia or the Middle East, this is Southeast Asia, a beautiful country and a beautiful people, inside and out, after all.

With many questioning the U.S.A’s commitment to the region after Donald Trump was elected President, any of these people should now be placated by this latest visit from Mike Pence, showing that the U.S. are very much committed to the region and are still harbouring close ties with Indonesia, and rightly so.

Mike Pence said in a joint news conference with Jokowi that the USA wants to strengthen its relationship with Indonesia. A very good move we think. Jokowi responded in kind, that he was in agreement to bolster co-operation between the two great nations.

With Mike Pence praising the moderate form of Islam in Indonesia, we believe that this is something very real and honest. Although the nation is a majority Islamic country, this does not mean that there is no democracy or that Sharia Law is practiced everywhere, whatsoever. The only exception to this are places like Banda Aceh where sharia law is practiced, but that island is by no means a reflection of Indonesia as a whole country.

Hands together, Pence and Jokowi. Credit: DailyMail

Mike Pence, said in the News conference, “As the second- and third-largest democracies in the world, our two countries share many common values including freedom, the rule of law, human rights and religious diversity. ‘The United States is proud to partner with Indonesia. It promotes and protects these values.”

Well said from Mr. Pence. He stipulated further, “Indonesia’s tradition of moderate Islam frankly is an inspiration to the world and we commend you and your people. In your nation as in mine, religion unifies, it doesn’t divide.”

Mike Pence went on to say that re-working of commercial and economic ties may be on the agenda, as the U.S. seeks a fair relationship that helps job creation and economic growth for both nations. Fair play, as they say. He said that U.S. exporters should face an even playing field for both and it should be “win-win” for both parties concerned.

Donald Trump announced that the U.S.A. would withdraw from the Pacific Rim based – TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) during his 2016 presidential campaign, but Mike Pence was quick to swoop in and reassure its allies in the region that the U.S.A. are still very committed to trade and continue holding its economic ties, regardless of Trump’s position on the TPP.

Donald Trump has in fact pointed out that Indonesia is on the list of countries that he feels America are losing out in trading with, to a good standard. Freeport-McMoran Inc. which operates one of the world’s biggest copper mines in the province of Papua, is locked into a dispute with the Indonesian government nowadays. So all in all, Donald Trump wishes to maintain and improve the working and trade relationship between America and Indonesia.

Morning Tea with Jokowi. Credit: DailyMail

The Trump Organisation is active in Indonesia, and already has plans to open luxury resorts on the island of Bali and in the city of Jakarta. Donald Trump’s business partner, Indonesian billionaire Mary Tanoe, has also said that he might run for president in 2019.

Mike Pence had morning tea with Jokowi at the presidential palace, and he and his family later visited the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia. There he and his family removed their shoes and his daughter’s wore headscarves as they walked inside the large prayer hall. Mike Pence met with faith leaders in a conference room where he was given a history of the mosque, built by a Protestant and situated next to a Catholic cathedral in central Jakarta.

This is a very moderate Islamic culture to us, and we feel that it was a great and positive sign that Mike Pence paid a visit to Indonesia, especially after the governor’s post in Jakarta, recently going to a conservative Islamist party.

Some faith leaders wondered about Trump’s travel ban including six-predominate Muslim countries, which has confused some of the Muslim world, where as you see that Indonesia is not anywhere to be seen on that proposed travel ban, although, it could affect some 14,000 refugees seeking resettlement in Indonesia, as they would not be able to enter the U.S.A.

Indonesia is not on the travel ban list, period, point-blank and rightly so.

So, it is good to see the close ally and affiliation between the U.S.A and Indonesia, so we thought we would bring you the good news, after the political set back just a few days earlier with the quasi-extremist political party winning the governor’s slot in the cities capital.  Once again, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are doing the right things at the right time and they love Indonesia, case closed.


Brainstain, over and out!

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Featured Photo Credit: Daily Mail

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