Thousands rally against religious violence at State Palace

Members of Solidarity Forum of Interfaith Harmony (FSKUB) stage a peaceful rally at the National Monument in Central Jakarta, on Sunday. The protesters condemned a series of religious violence over freedom to conduct praying recently.  As many as 1,500 members of Solidarity Forum of Interfaith Harmony (FSKUB) staged a rally Sunday in front of the State Palace, expressing their frustration over a series of religious violence recently in related to a construction of a religious house.

“It is an appropriate expression from a minority group which has been conflicted with a certain public organization,” the Islamic Liberal Network (JIL) leader Ulil Abshar Abdala told
Ulil said that the group marched to the State Palace because they thought police force and local government had failed in giving them protection.

Separately, the Indonesian Ulemas Council’s (MUI) interfaith harmony department head Slamet Effendi Yusuf considered the peaceful march “exaggerated”. “If the rally consists of all elements (in society and religious groups), I think it is overrated and it gives me an impression of a political movement,” he added. Slamet said the government has issued a joint ministerial decree on interfaith harmony, including requirements in building a worship house. “Therefore, why don’t we look back at the decree? I don’t think the protest in front of the State Palace is necessary,” he added.

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