The knife attack (on Sheikh Ali Jaber) is totally unacceptable to the MUI
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) seconded Security Minister Mahfud MD's calls for police to uncover networks and motives behind the knife attack by a 24-year-old man in Lampung on charismatic Muslim preacher Sheikh Ali Jaber.

"The knife attack (on Sheikh Ali Jaber) is totally unacceptable to the MUI," the council’s Secretary General, Anwar Abbas, stated here, Monday, in connection with the sudden assault that inflicted a four-centimeter-deep wound to the right arm of the respected ulema.

Alfin Andrian, 24, attacked Sheikh Ali Jaber with a knife at around 5:20 p.m. local time on Sunday during an Islamic mass gathering to support the one million Quran memorizers (hafiz) program at the Falahudin Mosque in Bandar Lampung.

However, the sudden knife attack by Andrian on this popular ulema, who was conversing with two of the event’s participants on stage, resulted in a minor injury to his right arm.

According to a video of the incident circulated on YouTube channel, Andrian, who reportedly resides in proximity to the mosque, was cornered by several participants of the event shortly after the assault.

Addressing journalists at a press conference here, Abbas stated that the attacker was indeed an enemy of peace, and this act of crime must thoroughly be investigated because undermining it would disrupt tranquility in communities.

"In this country, as the well-respected figures in the eyes of Muslim communities, the lives of ulemas are in danger. This reality has obviously reflected a sense of hostility against ulemas, and this hostile act is really dangerous," he cautioned.

“Such hostility has the potential to fuel suspicion among community members, and if the Sheikh Ali Jaber assault case was not comprehensively handled and a sense of justice was missing, it would snowball into a wild issue," Abbas emphasized.

To this end, the MUI called on the government and law enforcement agencies to uncover the assault case, he stated.

In another development, Lampung Police Chief Inspector General Purwadi Arianto explained that the police investigators had examined the suspect's mental health condition to test the validity of his parents' claim that he suffered from a mental health disorder.

The police investigators were not accepting of this one-sided confession and hence invited psychiatrists from the Kurungannyawa Psychiatric Hospital and the Lampung Police Headquarters' Medical and Health Service Division to examine his mental health condition.

The police investigators continue to examine Andrian’s motives behind attacking Sheikh Ali Jaber, as it was not easy to grasp his answers to questions posed during the questioning session, he remarked.

Indonesia's top security minister Mahfud MD has instructed security agencies to ensure the safety of all ulemas nationwide whilst terming the attacker of Sheikh Ali Jaber as an enemy of peace and destroyer of unity.

To this end, the attacker must be subject to a fair and transparent court trial, and the police should bring to light networks behind him, he noted in a statement.
Related news: DPR directs police to find motive behind attack on Muslim preacher

Related news: Escort service to guarantee Sheikh Ali Jaber's safety: Lampung Police


Translator: Anom P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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