Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said that the renovation of Istiqlal Grand Mosque has not been undertaken just for show.

"The renovation of the Istiqlal mosque is to make it more magnificent, and not for show off," Jokowi said while inaugurating the completion of the mosque's renovation at the Istiqlal mosque complex here on Thursday.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, Grand Imam of Istiqlal Mosque, Nazaruddin Umar, and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan also attended the inauguration ceremony.

"It (the mosque) is not only the pride of Muslims, but also the pride of all Indonesian people, the pride of our nation, Indonesia," he remarked.

The President also reminded that the Istiqlal mosque was founded 42 years ago as an expression of gratitude for Allah's grace after the Indonesian nation gained independence.

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"This spirit was clearly recorded in 1953 when Muslim leaders gathered and sparked the idea of establishing a mosque as a symbol of the independence of the Republic of Indonesia and it was agreed to name it Istiqlal, which, in Arabic, means independence," he recalled.

President Jokowi said he hopes that the Istiqlal mosque will not only be physically magnificent “but beyond that, it should become a means to increase faith and piety in Allah SWT, towards the empowerment of the ummah and as a pioneer of preaching the moderation of the world's Muslims”.

As a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia, through the Istiqlal mosque, should serve as an example for mosques in other countries, according to the President.

"To be an example in developing soothing Islamic symbols, which build tolerance and promote peace," he added.

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President Jokowi reminded visitors coming to the Istiqlal mosque to continue to apply strict health protocols.

"Lastly, considering that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is still happening here, I invite Muslims who use the Istiqlal mosque for both worship and other activities to adhere to strict health protocols," the President said.

According to the Grand Imam of the Istiqlal Mosque, Nazaruddin Umuar, the renovation of the largest mosque in Indonesia took 14 months and involved around one thousand workers.

The renovations also included building an underground tunnel connecting Istiqlal mosque and the Jakarta Cathedral Church.

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Translator: Desca LN, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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