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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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A father’s love: Wiranto explains why his daughter wears niqab

  • News Desk
    News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, November 21, 2018 | 08:39 am
A father’s love: Wiranto explains why his daughter wears niqab Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister Wiranto mourns the loss of his grandson in his grandson's home in South Jakarta on Thursday evening. (Yanuar Nurcholish Madjid/Tribunnews.com)

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister Wiranto wrote a public letter on Monday to respond to public comments after pictures were posted on social media of his family during the funeral of his grandson, Achmad Daniyal Al Fatih, on Friday. Wiranto’s daughter, Lia Wiranto, who lost her seventh child, a 15-month-old toddler, was seen in a picture wearing a niqab. Next to her was the mourning father, wearing a white Muslim turban.

The funeral pictures made the rounds on social media, surprising some people that the country’s top official on security, which deals with radicalism and terrorism, would have a daughter and son-in-law wearing attire often associated with radicalism and terrorism. The pictures also reminded some of Wiranto’s late son, who went to South Africa to study the Quran and died there in 2013. 

Here are the excerpts from his letter:

Some years ago, when my son, the late Zainal Nurizky, died while he was studying the Quran in South Africa, some people said Wiranto’s son was a follower of radical Islam, a terrorist cadre and other things. Under his own volition, he asked for my permission to leave Gadjah Mada University, a very reputable institution, because he was concerned with the young generation’s behavior that did not show exemplary character. 

Through the internet, he chose an institution that did not have any political agenda, a place to strengthen his understanding of the Quran, which put forward brotherhood and peace. It was not a school for terrorists. Unfortunately, a year into study, which was supposed to be for seven years, he died of an illness, while he was reciting the holy verses. So when people derided him and made slander, I just laughed, because I would not deign to respond to them.

Now, when my grandson, Ahmad Daniyal Al Fatih died, his mother, father and older siblings wore Muslim attire: niqab and white turban, and many people were surprised, social media was abuzz talking about them. Some were happy to see them, some were insulting and casting prejudice. Some tried to relate [the Muslim attire] with my position as the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister.

To allow my son and my grandson to meet Allah the Most Beneficent in peace, I think it would not be wrong for me to explain about my family and the life principles I taught them. 

Now, in 2018, I have devoted myself to the Mother Land for 50 years, 32 years in the military and 18 years in politics and government. I have done a lot to protect the country’s unity, sovereignty and dignity. Achievements, praise, slander and insults, I have lost count of them but they do not dampen my love for this country and my belief in the state ideology Pancasila, Saptamarga (soldiers' oath), which have been in my body and soul.

With that as the foundation, I taught them to feel a sense of belonging, to love, to defend this country wherever they are, whatever they do, because they were born and raised here, got their education and lived their life, even found their resting place.

"Don't mix religion with state ideology, don't exploit religion for political gain and financial benefit. Learn about religion to equip yourself in the afterlife and for the benefits of fellow humans, the nation and state."

“You can wear anything you want as long as you are comfortable. But the most important thing is don’t use your appearance only to show off about how Islamic you are, because the depth of your religion is not measured by your clothes and appearance, but mainly by your morals and behavior.” 

I give my family the freedom to be anything they want as long as they don’t veer off the principles I taught them. I always emphasized that they should do good for the country, instead of making the country suffer.

I have been lucky to receive the trust to become the Indonesian Military's chief, but none of my children or my children-in-law followed my footsteps in the military, or became a supplier of primary weapons systems. I founded the Hanura Party, but none in the family have become the party's executives. Indeed, I have asked them in earnest to not abuse my position for their personal interests. I am grateful that at this moment, we, the whole family, can still hold onto that principle. 

I thank anyone who has given their attention and prayers to me when my grandson died. I hope all those would become the light for him when he meets God, the Most Beneficent. Amen.

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