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Demands for FPI's disbandment continue
Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar
Pressures were mounting for the government to immediately outlaw the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) held responsible for the attack at the National Monument (Monas) on Sunday.
Some 30 students from various universities went to the streets in Makassar on Thursday, demanding the banning of the hard-line Muslim organization.
“The violent acts committed by FPI have tarnished religious harmony in the country and clearly violated the 1945 Constitution and basic human rights,” said rally coordinator Murad.
The students also urged the police to arrest and prosecute FPI members who perpetrated the attack and assaulted members from the National Alliance for the Freedom of Faith and Religion (AKKBB) during a rally in Jakarta on June 1.
Councilors who received the protesters at the legislative building supported the students’ demand, saying no groups were allowed to use violence against others.
In Bandung, hundreds of members of the Alliance for Religious Tolerance (AKUR) stormed the FPI’s local chapter office on Jl Pasteur on Thursday, demanding the head of FPI’s advisory board sign an undertaking to stop using violence in the city.
AKUR coordinator Yaman Didu said they had taken this step in order to maintain stability in the West Java provincial capital.
“We don’t want people saying they have the right to resort to violence in the name of religion, because every religion teaches peace,” said Yaman.
Bandung FPI’s head of the advisory board Ayub Solihin expressed his disapproval of disbandment on the grounds that they were not involved in the Monas attack.
“We have been carrying out peaceful actions in Bandung so far, like other groups. They have no right to disband us,” said Ayub.
He also said none of the FPI members from Bandung were involved in the attack in Jakarta.
“Only the government can dissolve us, not the police, especially not other mass organizations,” Ayub said.
In Cirebon, West Java, thousands of people from various groups and Islamic boarding schools, mostly affiliated with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), took to the streets Thursday to demand disbandment of the FPI.
The demonstrators held rallies at the Cirebon regency police office and the local legislature, arriving in dozens of trucks and with hundreds of motorcycles.
Nurjaman, caretaker of the Kempek Islamic boarding school and coordinator of the rally, said the attack carried out by the FPI against one of the NU’s clerics and an AKKBB activist, KH Maman Imanulhaq Faqieh, was a dishonor to the NU as an institution.
“The FPI had the audacity to attack a cleric who is an influential figure in the NU. Laskar FPI had also attacked AKKBB activists who were commemorating Pancasila Sanctity Day on June 1, meaning they have dishonored Pancasila and the NU at the same time. We condemn their behavior and insist the government disband the FPI immediately,” said Nurjaman.
Protesters also urged local legislators to immediately enact an ordinance banning the FPI and organizations that disrespected Pancasila and often resorted to violence in the name of religion.