TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas asserted that he never said if he would provide special protection to Shia and Ahmadiyah groups in the country.
“I’ve never said I’d protect Shia and Ahmadiyah organizations or groups. My stance as a religious affairs minister is to protect them as citizens,” Yaqut said as quoted by Antara on Friday, Dec. 25.
Therefore, to provide protection for the citizens, the minister said his office is ready to be a mediator if problems between certain groups and the two groups arise.
Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board Robikin Emhas said Yaqut’s statement was clear. “Every citizen has the right to get legal protection and has the same rights as a citizen. There shouldn’t be discrimination,” he said.
The act of discrimination cannot be justified just because of a difference in tribe, skin color, gender, language, and even religion, Robikin went on. “Moreover, using it as reasons to do persecution,” he remarked.