"Every problem arising from differences of opinions must be solved through constructive dialogue."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali has condemned the latest violence against the Shiite community in Sampang district, Madura Island, East Java Province.

"Any violence in whatever form, including in the name of religion or sectarian differences, is unacceptable," the minister stated here on Monday.

He said Islam taught peace and not violence, adding that the differences of opinions between the two sects - Shiite and Sunni - did exist but could not be used as a justification to commit violence.

"Every problem arising from differences of opinions must be solved through constructive dialogue and with the spirit of brotherhood," Suryadharma went on.

He stated that the problem in Sampang, Madura, must also be resolved through talks. Therefore, the minster urged local religious affairs officials in Madura to facilitate the dialogue.

Suryadharma called on all parties to promote tolerance and the spirit of brotherhood among fellow Muslims, Indonesians and human beings.

He also instructed the security authorities to enforce the law firmly and punish those involved in violent activities.

Recently, Shiite Muslims fled their villages after a mob of Islamic hardliners attacked them and set their houses on fire in Nangkernang, Karanggayam village, Omben sub-district, Sampang.

Two Shiite Muslims were reported killed and scores of others were injured in the incident in Omben on Sunday.

At present, there are 50 refugees - comprising women and children from Omben - accommodated at the Wijaya Kusuma Sport Hall in Sampang on East Java`s Madura Island after the Sunday attack.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012