Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and its leader, Habib Rizieq Shihab, are no threat to the Indonesian nation and state’s unity and integrity, political analyst at the Kupang-based Muhammadiyah University Ahmad Atang stated.

"Both FPI and Habib Rizieq Shihab do not pose a threat to the nation and state's integrity. Hence, the government should not overreact to today's 212 reunion rally," he remarked in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province, on Monday.

In resolving FPI- and Shihab-related issues, the government tends to place them into a political framework rather than a legal one. Consequently, the problems would remain unresolved, he stated while responding to a query to comment on the relevance of FPI to Indonesia.

Preferably, issues linked to FPI and Shihab, a Muslim cleric highly respected by numerous Indonesians nationwide, were placed into a legal framework to offer greater guarantee, he explained.

As of Monday, the Indonesian Home Ministry had yet to issue a letter notifying of the extension of FPI's mass organization registration permit.

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This mass organization registration permit is valid for a five-year period, while that of the FPI had expired since June 20, 2019. FPI is registered at the Home Ministry as stipulated in the letter of SKT 01-00-00/010/D.III.4/VI/2014.

Concurrently, Shihab, who has been staying in Saudi Arabia since May 2017, expressed keenness to return to Indonesia. However, the Indonesian government has prohibited him from leaving Saudi Arabia to get back to Jakarta.

Shihab again hinted at his keenness to return home in a prepared speech he delivered at the 212 reunion rally held at the National Monument (Monas) Square, Central Jakarta, on Monday.

Speaking in connection with the Shihab-related issue, Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD claimed earlier of no valid evidence that the government had barred Muslim cleric Shihab from returning to Indonesia.

Mahfud believed it would be impossible for the government to impose the almost 1.5-year ban on Shihab since the regulation only allows a six-month ban.

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Translator: B. Tokan, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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