DPR to push for enactment of law on inter-religious harmony

Violence may not happen for whatever reasons on every citizen. The state must protect the people regardless of their beliefs, religions or whatever
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The House of Representatives (DPR) will seek a law on inter-religious harmony to anticipate possible violence linked to inter-faith elations, legislator said.

"The present SKB (the joint ministerial decree) is not yet strong enough as a legal basis for ensuring inter-religious harmony," Abdul Kadir Karding, the chairman of DPR`s Commission VIII dealing with religious and social affairs said before attending a meeting between the commission and the minister of religious affairs and the national police chief at the parliament building here on Wednesday evening.

Karding who is from the National Awakening Party (PKB) said the joint ministerial decree has weaknesses to assure inter-religious harmony.

He said the second dictum of the decree states warning and order for Ahmadiyah Islamic sect followers to stop their activities which are not in line with the mainstream of Islam such as claiming that there is still a prophet after Prophet Muhammad SAW.

"The dictum has weakness with regard to recognition on a religion," he said.

He said Commission VIII would seek to change the SKB into a law on inter-religious harmony. The discussion of the bill is the initiative right of the DPR, he said.

"If the bill later is endorsed it will provide a strong legal basis to accommodate inter-religious relations," he said.

Three people were killed during an attack on Ahmadiyah followers in Cikeusik, Pandeglang, Banten, on Sunday.

Kardin asked why the incident could happen. "Where is the state`s commitment to the implementation of principles of respect to differences in religions among the people," he said.

He said persuasive approach needs to be taken to build peace with regard to dealing with the problem.

"Violence may not happen for whatever reasons on every citizen. The state must protect the people regardless of their beliefs, religions or whatever," he said.

In the long term the state meanwhile has to evaluate its way of tackling violence. He said the people must be taught on tolerance and respect on differences through persuasive dialog.(*)

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