Jakarta, Jubi/Antara – An Indonesan Islamic leader has expressed disappointment over and deplored the incident in Tolikara, Papua, that happened on Friday hoping that it would be the last to happen in the country.
KH Said Aqil Siradj, the general chairman of the executive board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU), which is one of the largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, said in a statement received here on Sunday (19/7/2015) he hoped there would no longer be conflicts between different tribes, religions, races and groups known locally as “SARA” issues in the country.
“I hope this will be the last and will not recur in the future,” he said.
A group of people believed to come from the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI) came to the Baitul Mustaqin mosque in Tolikara, while Muslims were performing an Eid prayer on Friday to protest the use of a loudspeaker in the prayer they considered disturbing an event being held by GIDI at the same time.
According to the chairman of the Communion of Evangelical Churches and Institutions in Indonesia (PGLII), Roni Mandang, shots fired by police officers at them had created a chaos leading to torching of kiosks the flame of which later engulfed the Islamic house of prayer after it was known that one of the people was shot to death.
National Police Public Information Division spokesman Senior Commissioner Suharsono has said that police opened fire to order the people to stay away from the mosque.
Later it was confirmed one of the people was killed while 11 others were wounded in the incident.
KH Said Aqil Siradj said no riot should happen again because of religious or tribal differences, adding Indonesia in the current global era needed strong unity. He said all people regardless of their religions, tribes, political parties or ideologies must unite so that the nation would not be eroded in the current challenging era.
“Strong unity and cohesiveness are needed to meet the challenge,” he said.
Regarding possible intellectual actor playing behind the incident Said Aqil Siradj said if it was true whoever he was must be a really very cruel man. He reminded that the Indonesian people are civilized people while “religious differences are not new to them.”
He said before the country declared independence all parties had agreed that the country would be a nation state, a unitary state that would embrace all national components. (*)