TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Novel Bamukmin, secretary of the Jakarta Branch of the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) alleged that certain individuals were attempting to defame the FPI by disseminating a video footage showing a red-and-white flag containing Arabic writing during a rally at the National Police headquarter on Monday, January 16, 2017.
“We suspect that there were infiltrators aiming to defame the FPI and the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Edicts (GNPF-MUI),” Novel told Tempo on Thursday, January 19, 2017.
Also read: Police to Investigate State Flag Containing Arabic Writing
Novel hopes that police will conduct a full investigation into the case. However, he also called on police to investigate similar cases occurred during the “Kita Indonesia” rally held in December 2016 at Bundaran HI and the Metallica concert held last year. Novel claimed that he has a piece of evidence to help with the police investigation.
“Since it has gone viral, police should take action immediately. But they have to be fair. I have a proof showing a flag with Metallica symbol. That, too, is an insult to the state flag,” he claimed.
Novel asserted that the individual, who carried the flag during the rally launched on January 16, was not a part of the FPI or the GNPF-MUI. Novel admitted that he was the one who seized the flag during the rally. However, the flag was different from that shown in a video footage.
“I was the one who secured [the flag]. A teenager was carrying it. He didn’t wear Muslim clothes and wear no Muslim hat. I ordered the security to take the flag,” Novel explained.
In response to a question whether he asked for an explanation from the teenager, Novel said that he did not have the time. A moment after securing the flag, the meeting with the National Police representative was over and he could not find the teenager.
“There’s no need to make a fuss about it. I had secured it, and I’m responsible for it. It’s a slander aimed to us. We didn’t want to lose focus because of the issue,” Novel said.
Also read: Police Hunt Down Person Who Vandalized National Flag
Earlier, Jakarta Police spokesperson Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said that his institution will conduct an investigation into a video footage showing a state flag containing Arabic writing that went viral on social media.
According to Argo, the state has a law governing state symbols, such as the red-and-white flag.
“We’re investigating the video. There is a law concerning state symbols banning [any writings] on them,” Argo said in Jakarta on Thursday, January 19, 2017.
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