"Do not call Muslims intolerant. Muslims do not demand any special right. They only need to be treated with justice," he said at the MUI office.
He made the comment in the context of a sweep carried out recently on the orders of the city administration and by the security police in Serang in the province of Banten, West Java.
He deplored the excessive action taken by the Satpol PP against a food stall that was found open during daytime in this fasting month of Ramadhan.
Din Syamsuddin, however, said he hoped that closing of food stalls during the day in the month of Ramadhan could be seen as part of local culture and ethics.
"It does not mean that we who fast want to be specially treated. To me, it is alright (for food stalls to be open in the day) to test our faith but in the interest of displaying tolerance, they should be closed as part of the local ethics and culture," he explained.
Din reiterated that Muslims in the country have been very tolerant to other religions, and referred to the example of Bali.
"During the Hindu Day of "Nyepi" (Exclusion), Muslims in the island are not allowed to go to the mosques by motorbike. Mosques are also prohibited to use loudspeakers," he noted.
He reminded that from the beginning itself, Islamic leaders have been very tolerant, a fact reflected in their wisdom and statesmanship in fighting for Indonesias independence.
In view of that, he called on all parties in the country not to discredit Muslims because they are the biggest part of the Indonesian nation.(*)