Indonesian Minister: Israeli Football Team's Visit Not Linked to Religious Issues
24 March 2023 22:01 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas refused to comment related to the controversy of the Israeli national team's visit to the country for the U-20 World Cup. Yaqut said that it has nothing to do with religious issues.
"Please don't ask me," said Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Friday, March 24, 2023.
The Israeli football team has qualified for the U-20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Bali from May 22 to June 11, 2023. The planned visit of the Israeli team received criticism from many parties.
Earlier, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Chairman Yahya Cholil Staquf, known as Gus Yahya, who is the older brother of Minister Yaqut, talked about people's objection to the visit of the Israeli national team to defend Palestine. Gus Yahya hoped that all those supporting Palestine will think about the next steps and solutions to be taken.
“[Instead of] just screaming [against Israel] and sleeping," said Gus Yahya, who was the spokesperson for former President Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, when met after meeting with President Jokowi at the State Palace, Jakarta on Friday, March 24, 2023.
Minister Yaqut also attended the meeting, accompanying his brother. However, Gus Yahya claimed there was no discussion regarding Israel in the meeting.
When asked about NU's perspective which has no issue with the visit of the Israeli football team, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut handed over the matters to Gus Yahya. He was also reluctant to present his views as a minister. "Just ask NU," he shortly said.
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