Rendi A. Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Defying police warnings, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) maintained that it would raid nightspots violating city regulations governing the operation of entertainment centers during the holy month of Ramadhan.
Jafar Siddiq, secretary-general of the Islamic Defenders Troops (LPI), a unit of FPI, said on Thursday that FPI members would specifically target entertainment centers that serve alcoholic drinks during Ramadhan.
They would also strike videogame centers, massage parlors, discotheques and nightclubs that, according to a city regulation, are prohibited from operating during Ramadhan.
Jafar, FPI's former field coordinator for South Jakarta, asserted that he had prepared some 400,000 personnel at 3,000 posts across Greater Jakarta, 580 of which are located in Jakarta.
""FPI will remain tough, like last year, by supervising adherence to the bylaw and raiding those places that violate it. Of course, the action will only be taken if there is no favorable response to a letter of warning to them"", he said.
When questioned about action that police would take against any groups taking unlawful action against nightspots, Jaffar said that FPI would not back off, adding that if bloodshed was required then that sacrifice would be made.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Anton Bachrul Alam had earlier said that police would take stern action against hard-line groups conducting vigilante campaigns during the fasting month of Ramadhan.
FPI became infamous for their raids on venues last year when they attacked several entertainment centers such as MW Bar and Ratu Ayu Bar, both located in Wijaya Kusuma area, South Jakarta, and Kawanu Pub in Tebet district, South Jakarta.
Besides FPI, the Justice Party also vowed to oppose sinners during Ramadhan, but said that it would pursue its objections peacefully.
Justice Party chairman Hidayat Nur Wahid said on Thursday that his party had prepared several nonaggressive plans, including ""enlightening programs"" that would be held in all districts in the capital, peaceful parades, placing posters in strategic places, mass prayers and social activities.