"The East Java Police circular orders collection of data on clerics in an attempt to forge closer relationships with them. The police can invite clerics easily," Saifuddin stated here on Tuesday evening.
However, the minister called on the police to merely request data regarding Islamic figures from the Religious Affairs Ministry.
"If the police take part in the standardization program for preachers who deliver sermons during Friday prayers, it can lead to public suspicion about the governments intervention," the minister remarked.
The minister affirmed that the government will not intervene in the standardization process.
The determination of the standardization program for preachers would be managed by ulemas, or Muslim scholars, from numerous Islamic organizations, including the Indonesian Ulema Council, Nahdlatul Ulama, and Muhammadiyah.
The government will merely facilitate the process of standardization.
"The most important aspect of the standardization program is guidance that can serve as a reference for preachers. Guidance can eliminate the dissemination of hateful content to avoid disintegration," the minister noted.
The minister said that the content of sermons should be in line with religious teachings.
"The content should not trigger disintegration and riots," the minister emphasized.(*)