The Jakarta Post
Leaders of the country's two largest Islamic organizations have decried growing local support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), calling it political and counter to Islam.
They urged Indonesian Muslims to not join the war waged by the group, since no solidarity should be put behind the violent movement that has claimed to occupy parts of Iraq and Syria while spreading terror in the region.
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) executive council chair Slamet Effendy Yusuf deplored ISIL for using religion to net supporters from other countries, including Indonesia.
'The public have to be critical. This is not about [establishing] a caliphate [Islamic state]; but [a group] working for its own cause and gains from a sectarian issue,' Slamet told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Mu'ti voiced a similar concern, reminding all Indonesian Muslims that Islam 'did not support violence, but a common good and unity.'
'That's my point, this [movement] is not in the context of religion [Islam],' Abdul said
He further said that joining the group was not considered a jihad.
'We all need to question the group's goals. Don't just follow radicals who tried to win their own wars in other countries; we will be the ones to suffer losses,' he added.
In eight-minute video 'Join the Ranks' uploaded recently on YouTube, a man named Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi urged Indonesians to participate in the fight, saying it was an obligation mandated by Allah for Muslims. In the video, Abu is accompanied by a group of men holding firearms ' some wearing military attire. English subtitles are included in the video, with a woman chanting in Arabic in the background.
The video was uploaded onto the site after several other videos emerged voicing local support for the radical rebel group.
The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has estimated that at least 30 Indonesians are involved in the movement in Iraq under ISIL and in Syria under Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), a prominent Salafi jihadist organization with links to al-Qaeda.
The Citizenship Law bans Indonesians from supporting rebel causes in foreign lands and those who join a resistance group against a legitimate government will lose citizenship.
Ma'ruf Amin, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) deputy chairman, said although MUI had yet to issue official statement, 'in general, if it uses violence, we reject it.'
'We will see how the matter develops [in the country], if it gains more support, we will issue a statement,' he added.
Slamet also urged all Islamic organizations in the country to discuss the matter together.
Newly appointed Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin also made a similar call on Friday, urging Indonesians to not join ISIL and that he hoped all Islamic organizations could raise awareness by intensifying the Islamic teachings of rahmatan lil alamin (a blessing for all mankind), which spread common good in the context of the Indonesia's integrity and unity.
The minister, who is a member of the United Development Party (PPP), also reminded people that Islam 'does not spread fear and violence' and that ISIL 'is a radical organization that uses violence in order to fight for what it believes.'
Lukman said that all Indonesian Muslims should not follow an ideology that was 'against Pancasila'.
'Do not be influenced and there is no need to follow [them],' he said.