Different idul fitri dates should not cause conflict

Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - The different dates of the Idul Fitri or Lebaran festivity should not cause conflict among Muslims, Muhammadiyah General Chairman Din Syamsudin said here on Tuesday.

"The differences should be addressed with tolerance and mutual respect because the decision on the first day of Syawal is based on

the religious beliefs of the respective Muslim communities," Din Syamsuddin said after performing Idul Fitri prayers here.

For Muhammadiyah, this year`s Lebaran festivity falls on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 but for the government it falls on the next day, namely Wednesday, August 31.

He said that in Islam, the difference is acknowledged so long it is based on strong and accountable religious arguments; and therefore it should not be debated and exaggerated.

"Muhammadiyah`s decision that the first day of Syawal falls on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, is not fabricated but based on religious beliefs that ijtima or the solar, lunar, and earth astral conjugation happened on the day before," Din said.

According to him, neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and even other Middle Eastern countries performed Idul Fitri prayers on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.

"In spite of the difference in deciding the first day of Syawal, we have to continue to maintain Muslim brotherhood and step up our hospitality because it happened not only this year but also in oast years," he said.

Therefore, the Muhammadiyah chairman expressed hope that the government could protect all elements of society regarding the different dates of Idul Fitri this year. (*)

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