Like a beautiful girl, Muslims are always contested at every democratic party performance. We can also see that identity politics is still very thick coloring the demographic dynamics in this country. The existence of superior Muslims in quantity is a major factor in the strengthening of the voting.
Starting from the 2017 DKI Pilgub, the issue of publicity seems to continue to be in the vortex of political dynamics until 2019. The election of NU figures as Vice President of Jokowi, Kyai Ma'ruf Amin, is strong evidence that the issue of publicity really cannot be underestimated.
During this time, incumbents were often considered to be less pro-Muslim. The existence of NU then became a key word in answering these unprovoked accusations. We can see how the dignified position of Mahfud MD will become Jokowi's representative, but at the last minute he was displaced because he did not represent NU's aspirations.
As the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, NU has never been as strong as it is now. Evidently, NU recorded the highest number of cadres in the cabinet in its history. NU also has close relations with Jokowi and has privileged access to the power rooms.
The phenomenon of the election of Kyai Ma'rif Amin as Vice President of Jokowi is a potential bargaining power as well as a threat to the breakdown of NU's internal political social rights.  We all know, since 1984 through the Congress in Situbondo, NU asserted that he returned to the 1926 Khittah and withdrew from the political contestation of power. This choice is very appropriate, considering that NU's political philosophy emphasizes that the benefit of the people is the most important thing. Therefore, NU must always be able to be independent and give all of its aspirations to the people.
Although NU is not directly involved in practical politics, the existence of NU has always been the mainstay of every political arena in the country. This is because many NU figures are involved in politics. Likewise, some Islamic parties, such as PKB and PPP, are always associated with NU. That is why, NU has become a strategic key in answering the issue of commitment that has been played by the rival stronghold of President Jokowi.
Basically, NU's political identity is quite unique and complicated. As Muhydin (2012) stated, in a state of peace, NU can become a lifelong stick for the people. But in a precarious situation, NU can transform into a poisonous snake that destroys its enemies. Just look at, for example, the resolution of jihad (1945) and the atheist crackdown (1965).
Plus, NU always experiences the tension between its role as a civil organization and its potential as a basis for political movements. According to Greg Fealy (2018), this kind of tension seems most evident in the debate about NU's relations with political parties, especially those parties that claim to have a relationship with it.
NU does have promising mass potential, plus the character of NU citizens who are generally traditionalists. Such conditions make it easier for political contestants to approach and influence NU citizens. Although the kyai never had a single voice, their position generally saw firsthand the situation in the management structure.
Formally, NU had always been neutral. But in fact, the tendency towards political parties born from NU's stomach is difficult to cover up. When the trend is read by NU residents, a significant sound is easily obtained. The election of Kyai Ma'rif Amin as Jokowi's Vice-Chancellor was also a result of this situation.
However there is a need to be politically neutral, the NU leadership in practice took a flexible approach in the post-Soeharto era, often showing clarity of preferences towards PKB other parties, especially the United Development Party (PPP), which has been dominated by nahdliyin (NU residents) since 1999.
In many election events, starting from 1999, 2004, and in 2019, NU appears to have intimacy with PKB and maybe several other political parties. This intimacy is seen not only at the structural level, but also at the same time cultural. This fact shows that NU was never able to get out of its political identity.
Actually, NU's involvement in supporting support had negative potential for the solidity of the social and religious community of NU. This means that the support of citizens and NU leaders will result in the polarization of the two big camps, they will support each other and claim each other to get support from the NU clerics.
If this is continued, this will have fatal consequences for the NU community relations easily dragged by the interests of the Paslon interstate. Such conditions are important to realize in anticipating internal conflicts within the NU body, which can also lead to wider social conflict.
Because many people think that NU is now a partisan organization and NU's fate is too closely related to PKB that violates the principle that NU must represent and serve all its members equally regardless of political affiliation.
NU's bargaining power is so large, actually comes from the solidity of support from the lower levels. For example, the NU clerics had a great influence, then became a struggle for political candidates.
No matter how recent NU achieved success, many people were worried about the impact of shifting religious-cultural preferences and structural changes in Indonesian education.
Foundation NU is thousands of Islamic boarding schools and clerics who lead them. The kyai are traditionally religious, social and political leaders who are respected by their community, with prominent kyai usually holding high status in national affairs.
Islamic boarding schools have a vital role in shaping the spiritual life and social attitudes of millions of Muslims, especially through transmission of understanding traditional about Islam. So, if the NU management is involved in political affairs, then the effect will be dangerous for most Muslims, which is vulnerable to division.
It is hoped that NU must be able to act objectively. The upcoming 2019 presidential election will be an important momentum for NU to demand ideas and alignments, especially on what is the promise of the presidential candidate. Also, the choice and objective attitude must be fully the right of every individual, not controlled by NU structurally.
The clerics must also be able to provide guidance so that NU citizens and Muslims in general are not trapped in divisions due to different political attitudes.  Finally, political fluctuations can also harm NU. Even though Jokowi seemed fine to be re-elected, the possibility of winning rival candidate Prabowo Subianto that was not profitable for NU could not be ruled out. In such circumstances, NU's closeness with PKB and Jokowi will limit the opportunities for maneuvering in the new government.
Rohmatul Izad. Postgraduate Alumni of Philosophy of UGM Yogyakarta.
This Article Was Published On : ISLAMI.CO
Translated by Google Translate