TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Islamic preacher Abdul Somad responds to the public outcry regarding his view on the Christian cross that many believe to be a form of blasphemy. However, he maintains that the viral short clip of him giving the answer is not initially meant to be a public statement.
“That there are people offended by my explanation [on the subject], should I then have to issue an apology?” says the preacher during his visit to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) central headquarter in Central Jakarta on Wednesday, August 21.
He argues that the statement he gave in answering a guest’s question during one of his preaching sessions (pengajian) was in the capacity of him discussing issues based on Islamic belief.
Somad then mentioned another example he says is recited in Quran’s Al Maidah verse 73: “They have certainly disbelieved who say: 'Allah is the third of three.' And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.”
“I explained that among Muslims. Does this automatically offend people outside [of this community]? it does offend some. Should I then apologize?" says the Islamic cleric who asserts that his statement was not said in a public space but inside Riau’s Agung An-Nur Mosque.
Abdul Somad firmly believes that there is nothing wrong with the method he adopts in his sermons.