Minister: Al Zaytun not linked to NII

Minister: Al Zaytun  not linked to NII

Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharman Ali. (ANTARA/Dedhez Anggara)

Indramayu, West Java (ANTARA News) - Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharman Ali said that the Al Zaytun Islamic boarding school was not linked with the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement because the school teaches tolerance.

"It is very difficult to link the Al Zaytun Islamic boarding school with the NII organization which is radical," he said at a press conference at the Al Zaytun here on Wednesday afternoon.

He said generally radical Islamic ideologies are not tolerant very much and hate anything modern.

He said he had observed the educational pattern used in Al Zaytun which is modern and adopts modern arts for teaching materials for its students.

The minister said radical ideologies also have a special characteristic which is they always call those having ideologies different from theirs infidels.

"When we conducted afternoon prayers just now Syekh AS Panji Gumilang, the chief of the school even asked me to lead it, proving that there was not radicalism being developed in this school," he said.

Syekh AS Panji Gumilang meanwhile said that he had never entered into the NII organization like what several parties had accused him of.

"I am not connected with the NII history," he said.

He said based on history the NII thrived in Indonesia in 1949 and dissolved in 1962. "After that there is no more organization called NII," he said.

Asked if he would file a lawsuit against those that had accused him of being involved in NII he said he would not do it to anyone.

"What is the use of it. Indonesia needs brotherhood and I have so far considered it as a trivial matter," he said.

During the visit to the school Minister Suryadharma Ali took time to tour school facilities and had even taken the opportunity for giving the students who were to leave for a school holiday some advices.(*)
(H-YH/HAJM /a014)