Indonesia fighting against ISIS presence

Indonesia fighting against ISIS presence

Anti-ISIS movement at Masjid Agung (Grand Mosque), Tasikmalaya district, Singaparna, West Java, Friday (July 8, 2014). (ANTARA/Adeng Bustomi)

The government has clearly banned the ISIS."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim populated country, is doing its best to prevent the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), alerting all regional police forces and Muslim organizations.

The Indonesian move to fight the influence of the ISIS follows the uploading of a video on YouTube, depicting an Indonesian calling himself Abu Muhammad al-Indonesia appealing to Indonesian Muslims to join the ISIS.

The man in the video footage titled "Join the Ranks" is now wanted by the police.

"I have already instructed the chiefs of the regional police forces across the country to take appropriate measures in cooperation with other offices concerned to prevent the people from being influenced by the ISIS," National Police Chief General Sutarman said, Friday.

The Indonesian government has prohibited the ISIS movement because of its radical ideology, which runs against the state ideology of Pancasila and principles of unity in diversity and the Unitary State of Indonesia (NKRI).

In view of that the organization, which is affiliated to international terrorist network al-Qaeda, is banned in the country.

"The government has clearly banned the ISIS. The coordinating minister for political, security and legal affairs has stated that the government rejects the ISIS. In view of that, we have taken tactical and technical measures to prevent and, at the same time, enforce the law against anyone affiliated to the ISIS," he noted.

The Religious Affairs Ministry had also invited the Police Chief Gen Sutarman and Muslim organizations in the country to a meeting where the police chief will brief the organizations on the ISIS threat and danger, Religious Affairs Minister, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, said.

"All Islamic organizations in the country are invited to the meeting where the police chief is expected to explain the phenomenon of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the minister said on Thursday.

"We have to be serious in handling the ISIS issue and look for fundamental solutions because the issue has become increasingly complex as it has touched state and religious pillars," the minister said, opening the meeting, Saturday.

The ministry of religious affairs has initiated a meeting with Indonesias Islamic organizations at a national seminar on the dangers of the ISIS ideology. At that meeting will be leaders of Islamic organizations, ulemas, Muslim clerics, community leaders and officials from the ministry of religious affairs, National Anti-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), Attorney Generals Office, police and State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) has also appealed to Indonesian Muslims to not be provoked by the radical teachings of the ISIS.

"We must increase our awareness and call upon all Islamic bodies to be more alert so as to not be used by the radical group and prevent the infiltration of ISIS ideology," Indonesian Ulema Council Chairman, Din Syamsudin, said.

The teaching and goal of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are against the Islamic sharia, as it uses violence to achieve its cause, MUI Deputy Chairman Maruf Amin, said.

"ISIS ideology is not acceptable. In its effort to build an Islamic state, ISIS coerces others and commits violence. Indonesia has a democratic commitment and does not resort to violence," Maruf said.

Therefore, MUI has firmly stated that the ISIS is banned as it has been involved in coercive actions, violence, murder of innocent people, destruction of places considered sacred by Muslims, and undermining the nation state, he said.

"Such actions have been condemned by Indonesia, so it is not allowed (based the sharia) to support the ISIS. However, it is not necessary for MUI to issue a haram fatwa (prohibition advice) because it is already clear that supporting ISIS is haram or prohibited," stressed Maruf Amin.

Indonesias largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) also called for firm action against emergence of groups claiming to be part of the ISIS in Indonesia.

"The government must be firm. The police must act," NU general chairman, KH Said Aqil Siroj, said, Friday, clarifying NUs stance toward the issue.

Unless stringent action was taken against ISIS, the security and integrity of the nation could be threatened, he noted

The NU board has rejected calls for joining ISIS and has also appealed to people to reject the propagation of ISIS ideology and its establishment, which has resulted in slander and disruption of the lives of Muslims and interfaith relations, he explained.

The ISIS presence in Indonesia can disrupt the nations stability, and the biggest losses will be borne by Muslims, noted Muslim scholar, Prof Dr Azyumardi Azra, said.

"If this movement continues to exist in Indonesia, it can disrupt the countrys stability, and Muslims will not easily seek asylum," Professor Dr Azyumardi Azra noted.

Indonesia should be safeguarded from the influence of radical religious movements such as the ISIS in order to secure the nations existence, emphasized the former rector of the Jakarta Islamic State University (UIN Jakarta).

In the meantime, police suspected that the ISIS influence had spread to certain areas in Indonesias eastern province of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), in the district of Bima in particular.

Signs of ISIS presence were found in Bima through a video recording by a group of people who were suspected to be supporters of the movement, NTB Police Chief, Brigadier General Moechgiyarto, claimed.

"We are still investigating the video recording by the people who are suspected to be supporters of the ISIS movement. The support to the ISIS in the recording is expressed in the form of prayers," Moechgiyarto stated, Thursday.

The same opinion was also expressed by the NTB Military (TNI) chief, who said that the military was now investigating the alleged presence of ISIS supporters in the region.

"Investigation is still underway with regard to the alleged presence of ISIS supporters in NTB. The possibility is certainly there," the chief of the 162 Wira Bhakti Military Unit, Col. Kuat Budiman, said.

The efforts to detect the likely presence of ISIS in NTB were made following the discovery of its initial presence through documents, Budiman claimed.

Following intelligence operations, a document about a preaching session at a certain location was discovered, but its contents and the preacher could not yet be confirmed, he remarked.

The picture only showed a man who appeared to be preaching in front of several people and standing in front of a banner that read "Indonesia Supports Islamic State" and below it "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," he stated.(T.A014/INE/KR-BSR/O001)

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