Minister declares jihad against pornographic sites

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian communication and informatics minister Tifatul Sembiring said here on Friday his efforts to block pornographic sites so far were a jihad in view of their challenges.

"And it will continue until the end of time. I have often told young religious teachers to never stop once they start jihad. A jihad may also be in the field of information," he said at a symposium on the role of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) in strengthening the Islamic and social solidarity through verification of Islamic content in mass print and the electronic media here on Friday.

He added that the challenge in fighting pornography was big as MUI has experienced with regard to its efforts to preserve the nations morality through various methods, including issuance of religious edicts.

"If we search information about MUI through Google for example, we will find people insulting MUI and also those who are trying to reduce Islamic views. The role of the ministry of communication and informatics is like that, facing challenges from especially those who have less understanding of pornography," he noted.

Describing the challenge of his jihad, Tifatul said, "there are a minimum of around three billion sites in the world and we have so far only been able to block around a million of them on suspicion of carrying pornographic content."

"In the ASEAN region, it seems it is only Indonesia that has blocked pornographic sites so far. At the minimum it is part of efforts to fight evil. Unless efforts are taken they may spread wider," he pointed out.

He said the information media has developed fast and "content is no longer found in print only but also in the digital media."

The minister added that everyone is now occupied with information technology and have even changed because of it.

"We may find a child laughing at a dinner table with his family not because of his chat with the family members, but because of the friend he is talking with through the gadget he has brought to the dinner table," he said, describing how information technology has changed a childs behavior and penetrated peoples life.

He noted that a child is now dependent on his gadget. A child is now even choosing to see his twitter account first soon after he wakes up instead of praying, he added.

Minister Tifatul has recently received a lot of criticism and has even been bullied by Internet users, following his decision to block Vimeo on suspicion that the site carries pornographic content.(*)

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