News focus - Spirit of solidarity visible among 212 reunion rally participants by Rahmad Nasution

News focus - Spirit of solidarity visible among 212 reunion rally participants      by Rahmad Nasution

The National Monument (Monas) Square in Central Jakarta. (ANTARA/Akbar Nugroho Gumay )

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - The spirit of nationhood and solidarity was obvious, ahead of the convening of the 212 reunion rally at the National Monument (Monas) Square, Central Jakarta, on Sunday (December 2).

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police, who are responsible for securing the event, have hinted that they have no objection regarding the convening of the 212 reunion rally. This was stipulated in a letter issued by the authorized officer at the police headquarters.

Signed by the Jakarta Metropolitan Police`s Director of Security Intelligence Service Senior Commissioner Umar Effendi, the letter dated on November 30, 2018, revealed that around one million people were expected to join the rally.

In the letter directed to the Indonesian national police chief and its copy, which went viral on WhatsApp on Friday, Effendi asked those in the organizing committee to take part in maintaining security during the event.

Those coming to Jakarta to attend the rally are not just from the capital city but also from other cities, towns, and districts across Indonesia.

Among them are residents of Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra Province, who have confirmed their pledge to participate in the 212 reunion rally through social media. They have even announced that they will depart for the capital city via chartered flights.

"Assalamualaikum wbr, we are from Medan but we will come to Padang first. The city becomes our meeting point prior to our flights to Jakarta. We depart by three chartered planes," this statement was published by a popular Twitter account, https://twitter.com/maspiyuuu.

For those coming from outside Jakarta, they do not need to stay at hotels while waiting for the event to begin, because they have been offered accommodation by so many mosque managers in the capital city and its surrounding areas.

The rally`s participants will be treated as respected guests during which they will be allowed to take rest and will also be served free meals and drinks.

One of the tens of mosques offering to accommodate and serve the 212 reunion rally`s participants is Al Ikhlas Mosque in Kebagusan Village, Pasar Minggu Subdistrict, South Jakarta.

"Assalamu`alaikum wr wb, for the 212 reunion rally`s participants coming from outside Jakarta, we are the mosque managers of Al Ikhlas Mosque in Kebagusan and are ready to accommodate you if you want to stay overnight. The facilities available consist of air-conditioned sleeping rooms, as well as free drinks and breakfast. You may contact Umar Nadi on 08158225576," this announcement was published on Sutan Radjo Basa`s Twitter handle that Antara quoted on Friday evening.

On the day the event takes place, the participants have been told to bring their own food and drinks but the organizing committee`s logistics unit has prepared at least 62 food stalls that will distribute free food and drinks to those in need.

The volunteers working at the registered food stalls that have been initiated and set up by both organizations and individuals will serve the participants of the 212 reunion rally with free packed food and bottled water.

The 212 reunion rally has consistently been convened since 2017 to commemorate the historic moment of the 212 rally that the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Councils Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) had held on December 2, 2016.

Participating in the rally at that time were some seven million Indonesian Muslims coming from different parts of the country and abroad to demand the prosecution of then Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok), after he was accused of insulting Islam.

Despite the huge number of participants who flocked to Monas Square and its surrounding areas, the rally went on peacefully. The areas that the crowds of people occupied and passed by even looked clean owing to those who voluntarily collected the trash.

Considering the importance of this commemorative event for strengthening "silaturrahim" (communal togetherness) among Muslims, the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI)-Jakarta Chapter has let Muslims across the country join the 212 reunion rally.

"You are all welcomed because the purpose of the 212 reunion rally is for strengthening `silaturrahim` (communal togetherness) among Muslims," Chairman of MUI-Jakarta Chapter K.H.Munahar Mukhtar told journalists in Jakarta on October 26.

The event should be used for cementing the communal togetherness as taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, any act of violence and anarchy is absolutely not allowed, Mukhtar said.

"Muslim community members are welcome to come to Monas Square. We gather to strengthen our unity but please do not do an act of anarchy," he said, adding that he could not join the reunion rally because he happened to be in Saudi Arabia on December 2.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan himself has hinted that he would attempt to join the 212 reunion rally.

"Last year, I attended the reunion rally though I am not an alumnus of the 212 rally. Insya Allah (with almighty God`s willing), I will come," he said.

The spirit of nationhood and solidarity among Indonesians coming from different parts of the archipelago have encouraged them to join the peaceful 212 reunion rally with joy and happiness.

 

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