TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Hundreds of protesters dubbing themselves as the Tauhid Words Defending Action Movement staged a protest in front of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs against the recent flag burning incident in Garut, West Java.
Among the demonstrators are members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the National Movement to Safeguard Fatwa (GNPF) and the Islamic Defenders Troops (LPI).
“We ask [the government] which flag should be burnt? The Tawhid flag, the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) flag, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) flag, or the Communist flag?” said GNPF speaker Yusuf Martak during his oration in front of the ministry building on Friday, October 26, 2018.
Yusuf also called on the police to arrest not only the flag carrier, but also the flag burners and charge the latter with the blasphemy law.
The protest was in response to the recent flag burning incident in Garut, West Java, during the commemoration of the National Santri (Islamic boarding school students) Day on October 22. The police have apprehended the suspected flag burners, who were identified as members of Banser (Barisan Ansor Serbaguna)—the paramilitary wing of Nahdlatul Ulama’s Gerakan Pemuda Ansor youth wing.
The police, however, have yet to name the alleged flag burners as suspects, but rather witnesses. The police said they had yet to find any motive behind the flag burning, and that they were still questioning the flag carrier.