Wednesday, 23 October 2019

May 22 Riot; Said Aqil Reminds Public of the Middle East Conflict

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Laila Afifa

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  • Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board (PBNU) chair KH Said Aqil Siroj speaks during the NU national meeting and grand conference at Pondok Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) Miftahul Huda Al-Azhar Citangkolo, Banjar, West Java, February 27, 2019. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board (PBNU) chair KH Said Aqil Siroj speaks during the NU national meeting and grand conference at Pondok Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) Miftahul Huda Al-Azhar Citangkolo, Banjar, West Java, February 27, 2019. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe country’s largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Said Aqil Siradj fiercely condemned the May 22 riot initiated by the People's Sovereignty National Movement. According to him, all parties must bigheartedly accept the final vote tally announced by the Election Commission (KPU).

    “This is the character of a statesman we must show. Our main interest should be the country, the unity. Not a group’s interest, but the sustainability of the country’s integrity,” he said in the PBNU office, Jalan Salemba, Central Jakarta, May 23.

    He demanded the public to observe and learn from the disunity and conflict happening in Afghanistan and the Middle East. “For 40 years, there is a civil war in Afghanistan, while 100 percent of the citizen is Muslim.”

    In the Middle East, he added, at least 1.5 million people died in Iraq, Yaman, Libya, and Syria. “How about we become like that? Nauzubillah (God, protect us).”

    According to Said Aqil, Indonesians must show the world that Muslim here in Indonesia understanding democracy. “So, let’s merge a group’s interest into public interest,” he remarked, reminding the public of the deadly riot on May 22 in several areas of Jakarta.

    He went on to say that if people idolized prophet Muhammad, they should uphold the peace, call for harmony to each other. He then urged the public to honor the holy month of Ramadan.

    “This is the month of Quran, the month of love, the month of blessing. Don’t besmirch it with destructive or disturbing acts,” he underlined.

    In the Islamic boarding school (pesantren) of Nahdlatul, Said Aqil added, the students were competing in finishing Quran reading. Lecturers along with students used the holy month of Ramadan as a great opportunity to explore, improve religious teachings.

    IRSYAN HASYIM (CONTRIBUTOR)