TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Police have arrested a man suspected of vandalizing the premises of the Darussalam Musholla (small mosque) in Tangerang district, Banten province, on Tuesday evening.
The suspect, identified as 'S', 18, allegedly sprayed anti-Islamic graffiti on the walls and the floor of the mosque. He was nabbed from his house, which is located not far from the small mosque in the Villa Tangerang Elok housing complex of Kuta Jaya Pasar Kemis neighborhood, Tangerang city police chief, Sen. Coms. AdeAry Syam Indradi, said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, local residents removed the offensive graffiti so that the house of worship could be used for daily prayer.
Responding to news of the incident, Tangerang district head Ahmed Zaki Iskandar condemned the act of vandalism and urged local residents to not get provoked by it.
He also lauded the police's quick response in apprehending the suspect.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Azis Syamsuddin, also condemned the act of vandalism saying it had hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
"However, the people should not get provoked by the act of the perpetrator, who reportedly lives (near the 'musholla')," he stressed here while speaking about the incident, which has triggered a public outcry.
Syamsuddin also urged police investigators to expose the suspect’s motives behind the act of vandalism.
The DPR deputy speaker then urged the public to be patient and wait for official police information about the incident and confirmation whether the suspect was influenced by the teachings of radicalism or was purely driven by his own thoughts.
Syamsuddin also urged the police to not be hasty in drawing conclusions as observed in the knife attack on enigmatic Muslim preacher Sheikh Ali Jaber at the Falahudin Mosque in Bandar Lampung city, Lampung, on September 13, 2020.
The attacker, identified as Alfin Andrian, 24, was reportedly suffering from a mental disorder, he pointed out.
Syamsuddin said he hoped such acts of vandalism in a house of worship would not recur ahead of the simultaneous regional elections in December as they could prove detrimental to the tenet of unity in diversity.