Bhinneka Tunggal Ika cannot be eliminated: ICMI

"Plurality existing in Indonesia as characteristics of the nation could not be eliminated. We should maintain harmony and tolerance to keep unity in diversity," Asshiddiqie said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Chairman of the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI) Jimly Asshiddiqie stated that the national philosophy of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika - Unity in Diversity, could not be eliminated in Indonesia.

"Plurality existing in Indonesia as characteristics of the nation could not be eliminated. We should maintain harmony and tolerance to keep unity in diversity," Asshiddiqie said here on Monday.

He pointed out that harmony and integration have become keys to keep the national philosophy of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

"We should precisely manage the current situation ahead of Regional Elections (Pilkada). We hope anti-pluralist sentiments can be eradicated after Regional Elections.

He said that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was concerned about the problems of social gap. The social gap has become one of factors that trigger anti-pluralist movements.

"ICMI welcomes the governments efforts to alleviate the social gap in the society," he said.

With regard to ICMIs activities, the waqf bank would be established to boost the economy of Islamic community organizations.

"The bank is expected to help Islamic community organizations in the economic sector. In addition, we will build entrepreneurship schools," he remarked.

ICMI also plans to create a religious harmony forum, which supports a wide range of interfaith scholars.

"The plan will be discussed in detail with all national organizations and ministers. The religious harmony forum will be developed as Bali Democracy Forum. The forum will be implemented in Toba, North Sumatra. We promise to continue to provide inputs to Jokowi," he revealed.

He also reminded Indonesian people to be cautious about the circulation of false news.

"When people receive news, they should read it carefully," he remarked.

He emphasized that Indonesia was a country that supports freedom of speech but not in the form of hate speech.

"We support authorities in curbing the banners that spread hate speech and hostility," he noted.(*)

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