Hundreds of Indonesian Muslims Demand Punishment for Burning of Flag Bearing Islamic Tenet
Up to 1,000 Muslims in Indonesia, the worldâs most populous Muslim country, took to the streets Friday to âdemand justiceâ for the burning of a flag bearing the Tauhid, an Islamic concept affirming that there is only one God.
Reuters reports that Muslims came together to rally against the burning of the flag by members of the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Islamic organization in the country.
At the âpeacefulâ demonstration, leaders of the rally reportedly urged people to defend Islam as protestors chanted âThere is no God but Allah.â
âWe want justice for the burning of the flag, for those who are responsible,â Fahruh Rozi, 47, a member of Forum Masjid Al Falah, one of several groups at the rally, told Reuters.
âWe want to raise awareness for respect for Islam. Itâs not to do with politics or el ections,â Rozi added.
The demonstration took place in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
âDemonstrators in white Islamic robes snarled traffic outside the security ministry in Jakarta, waving flags with Arabic text professing belief in one God and chanting âGod is greatâ and âNo God except Allah,ââ the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections next April, there have been âsporadic tensionsâ between the NU, considered a moderate organization, and more hardline groups, Reuters pointed out.
Angered by the flagâs affiliation to the banned Hizb-ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) group that is allegedly seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country, NU members decided to set the flag ablaze.
Video of members of Nahdlatul Ulamaâs youth arm burning the flag of the outlawed group, Hizbut Tahrir, has stirred controversy in Indonesia because the flag is also embla zoned with the Islamic declaration of faith. Their uniforms indicated theyâre part of the youth organizationâs militia.
The flag burning reportedly prompted NU to cancel a mass rally to promote a moderate brand of Islam that was predicted to draw 10,000 supporters.
NU accused HTI of inciting violence that drove its young members to burn the flag.
Yahya Cholil Staquf, the NUâs secretary general, told AP that HTI âoperativesâ exploited religious symbols, which led to the flag burning incident.
âFurther incidents of provocation were planned. Our members would find it difficult to control their anger in the face of such flagrant exploitation of our religious symbols,â he said.Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia