NU, Muhammadiyah Disapprove December 2 Rally

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Novel Chaidir Hasan Bamukmin, Secretary General of Jakarta Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) urged the National Police chief General Tito Karnavian to prove his statement that certain people had been planning to overthrow the government. Novel has demanded Tito to name them.

    "Don't make a blunder. Show us and name those who would overthrow the government," Novel said in a phone interview on Monday, November 21, 2016.

    Tito and the National Armed Forces (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo suspect that some people had planned to topple the government led by President Joko Widodo. They will allegedly mobilize people to sit in and 'take over' the House of Representatives (DPR) building on November 25, 2016.

    Novel has denied allegations of planned mass mobilization to stage a rally on November 25, 2016. According to him, the FPI will only stage one rally on December 2, 2016. People will hold communal prayer at the peaceful rally, which would be staged on Hotel Indonesia Roundabout and along Semanggi-Sudirman streets. Many have claimed that the protest, called the ‘Aksi Bela Islam III’ (Act to Defend Islam III), would involve more people compared to the November 4 rally, which was also staged to protest against alleged blasphemy committed by inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok.

    Protesters plan to perform Friday prayer along the streets. They will not march towards the DPR building, State Palace, nor the National Monument (Monas). No speeches will be given at the rally. "We just want to pray for Indonesia, also to commemorate Maulid Nabi [Prophet Mohammad's birthday]. We [will] also pray for Ahok's immediate arrest and detention," Novel said.

    Islamic organization Muhammadiyah official Abdul Mu’ti said that Muhammadiyah is against the demonstration on December 2. He called the planned protest counterproductive as it would interefere with the legal proceedings in the case. "Neither the government nor the people shall interfere with law enforcement," Abdul said.

    Indonesia's largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) official Helmy Faishal Zaini said in a press release that the NU has urged its followers not to join the rally against Ahok. The NU has called on the public to respect ongoing legal proceedings.

    Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ulema Council secretary general Muhammad Zaitun Rasmin does not advise Muslims to take to the street against blasphemy committed by Ahok. "MUI does not recommend [people to join the rally], but we cannot prevent [them] either," Zaitun said.

    Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said police had been made aware of meetings held by some people planning to overthrow the government. "We will summon them later. Just wait," Boy said.