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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Banser takes down banners promoting Islamic country in Central Java

  • Agus Maryono 
    Agus Maryono 

    The Jakarta Post

Banyumas | Mon, April 10, 2017 | 10:34 am
Banser takes down banners promoting Islamic country in Central Java Members of Banser, the youth wing of the Nahdlatul Ulama, hold a rally against Islamic radicalism and for religious pluralism in Kediri, East Java, in February 2017. (Antara/Prasetia Fauzani)

Hundreds of members of Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser), the youth wing of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), have taken down banners calling for the creation of khilafah, or Islamic country.

The banners featured the logo of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) and were set up in several regencies of Central Java, before being taken down on Sunday. They were found in strategic locations of Banyumas, Cilacap, Purbalingga and Brebes.

“Those banners have no permits and they contain an invitation to build an Islamic country. This is not right, and Banser is against it,” Andry Widyanto, the coordinating head of Banser in Banyumas, told The Jakarta Post.

(Read also: Jokowi, allies call for national unity amid pressure)

Andry said the banners had been found in 20 locations in Purwokerto, the capital of Banyumas regency. He added that Banser would fight anything that harmed national unity, including the idea of building an Islamic country.

He said his team’s decision to take down the banners was the decision of all Banser members.

“We have coordinated with the police, and they gave us the permission to do this,” he added.

Banyumas Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Aziz Andriansah was involved in guiding Banser’s action. He said he had asked Banser members to go about their action in a calm way.

Aziz said he had not known about the presence of HTI in Banyumas and said police also had yet to discover which party was behind the installation of the banners.

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