vrijdag 10 november 2017

Buni Yani, Prabowo, and other complot theories

In November 2016 the Ahok Case started with a movie, places on the internet by a person, Buni Yani, who had deleted one word from a speech by the candidate for the governorship of Jjakarta. It suggested that the Koran lies (dibohongi) but Ahok wanted to say that political opponents lie if they say thatit is Muslims not allowed to vote for non-Muslim candidates or to be ruled by non-Muslims.
Buni Yani was at that time still on the website of Leiden University as a PhD candidate. In fact had had been accepted in 2010 as a PhD student in Leiden. His topic was the popular music in the Philippines, part of a great research project on modern culture in Southeast Asia. His MA waqs from Ohio University where he wrote a thesis on the differences in press reports of the 'Moluccan Wars', the violent clashes between  Muslims and Christians in the Moluccas. Also his native island of Lombok had experienced some effects of this great series of religious violence.
In late 2014 Buni Yuni returned to Indonesia with his family, where he accepted a small position at the Jakarta branch of the London School of Public Relations. Staff in Leiden considered his PhD traject as a failure and in November 2016 he was immediately removed from the Leiden website.
The Duch weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer asked journalist Lizzy van Leeuwen to do research about thisBuni Yani and the 2 November 2017 issue came with some stories about him.

Jeroen Krul made this drawing for the article of five pages (34-41, with some advertisements). It begins with the rich harvest for universities through the Indonesian programmes of the Dutch government, but also the money flowing from Indonesia. They are accepted with gratitude because they bring money for poor faculties in the humanities and social science. But the results are often not so spectacular. In the end there is the dilemma between: send back frustrated students or accept lower standards? Full professors are proud if they bring many students in the programms, but the jnior has problems with students who have a poor command of English and are not used to European academic traditions.
Another issue is the influence of salafi students in European universities. There is PPME: Persatuan Pemuda Islam si-Eropa. Besides there is PPI, Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia. In Leiden there was an effort by PKS students to take over leadership in PPI in the Netherlands (some 1500 in NL). Sujadi has written a dissertation of PPME: his dissertation 'is full with luaghing salafi ulama. In a statement attached to his dissertation he says that Indonesian salafism is not really noticed in the Netherlands'. In Melbourne, Japan and the UK the PKS-students could take over PPI leadership.
Related to the case of Buni Yani a professor of Wageningen University  (who have good relations with the Bogor Agricultural University, with a strong networl of salafi students) asked: 'why do we not receive any Christian student from Indonesia during the last decade?'
Journalist Lizzy van Leeuwen also was for some time in Indonesia, seeking information about Buni Yani (who only had a small position at the Jakarta institution and has been dismissed since the beginning of the affair). She gives much interest to the cooperation between PKS (now in a difficult position due to the 2014 corruption affair) and Gerindra of Prabowo.
Finally she also quotes Bart Barendregt, assistent professor in Leiden and responsible for the study of Buni Yani: 'He was not really interested in Islam here. He was in fact not an academic, but a journalist. He was a supporter of Jokowi, but probably lost his confidence in him. Buni had a strong feeling of justice, or perhaps it was rather some naive love of justice. He really loved his country and was not an man for machinations.'

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