Joko Anwar, based on his profile and blog stories, is a free-lance writer and film director. Considering his age, he can be considered as a young talented-ambitious-energetic film director. I dont know whether he ever stays abroad or not. but it’s obvious that he speaks english eloquently. if he’s never stayed abroad, he must have a good education and must be from an educated upbringing.
From his name (joko), it’s clear that he’s a javanese. And assuming that the surename (anwar, which in arabic means ‘light’) is his father’s name, he must be from the santri’s (traditional muslim) background. yet, like most javanese muslim, he prefers to be a “liberal muslim” a term that used to be called “abangan” stands for ‘a javanese muslim who doesnt care much about his/her religion as a way of life. liberal muslim or abangan muslim, if you like, is not a derogatory term among javanese people or indonesian point of view; it even means a real moderation from the western standpoint. abangan or liberal muslim, who drinks sometimes and hardly observe prayer represent a large majority of javanese.
i need to talk about his background by no means i have any intention to discuss his very personal life–by the way i dont know him nor have i met him–but it needs to be known by non-indonesian who reads his blog that through his personal writing, you can learn something; a voice of a large majority, i.e. javanese, of indonesian people on how they see life, socially and culturally. and how they see the current and much hype event like the relations between islam and the west i.e. they just dont care! 🙂
it also needs to note, that person like Joko Anwar is so many. yet, many westerners who stays in Jakarta and closely mingle with many persons like Joko still afraid of the tiny militants like FPI is doing. See for example blogger like indcoup and jakartass, both are londoners stay in jakarta who makes enough ‘noise’ in their blog about the current church closure in western java as a very dangerous phenomenon (I promise to indcoup that i’ll write about it in my blog later…). bear in mind, that a group like FPI needs to be dealt with; but not to be afraid of. sane people still can overwhelm the tiny insane!