Islamic figure calls against mass mobilization at Ahok`s trial

Nusa Dua, Bali  (ANTARA News) - An Islamic figure has called against mobilization of people on the first day of the trial of Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok)over a blasphemy case on December 13.

"People must also accept any ruling of the court. There is no need to hold further movements. I think we must return to Islamic teachings, which is we must be patient when we are not satisfied," Azyunmardi Azra, the former rector of state Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic University, said here Wednesday.

He made the statement after speaking at an international seminar on Islam, Democracy and Challenge of Pluralism and Security.

The energy and funds left had better be used for improving the neighborhoods or on other productive activities, he said.

"It would be better for them to be used to empower the poor or unemployed. That would be better than using them for renting buses or buying train tickets to carry people from faraway places. I think mobilization is not needed anymore," he said.

Further action (after the huge mass prayer on December 2) would only create political instability, he said.

"It means the entire population would suffer including Muslims. Please monitor the court session which is open to the public. There is no need to conduct mass mobilization," he said.

Azyumardi criticized foreign mass media over their reports on the case so far that he believed were hurting Indonesia.

"They have always presented that the minority, in this case the Christian in Indonesia, is being oppressed. Their report is also imbalanced and hurts Indonesia. Their leads are that Ahok, who is a Christian and Chinese are the target of radical Muslims. This radical group cannot be controlled by the government," he added.(*)