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Youth group in Bogor plans Islamic art performance as distraction from ‘people power’

Theresia Sufa

The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java  /  Tue, May 21, 2019  /  01:30 pm
Youth group in Bogor plans Islamic art performance as distraction from ‘people power’

A youth group puts on a traditional Islamic percussion performance in Ciheuleut, Bogor, West Java. (JP/Theresia Sufa)

The Indonesian Mosque Youth Communication Forum (BKPRMI) has called on young representatives from mosques across Bogor, West Java, to stay away from planned protests against the election results to be announced in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The BKPRMI held a meeting with 200 young representatives from mosques of the city to discuss various Ramadan initiatives. The forum expects the initiatives to keep the youth busy with productive religious activities, thus preventing them from joining the “people power” rally in Jakarta to protest the election results, which are expected to show Jokowi victorious in the presidential race.

M. Nurdat Ilhamsyah, the chairman of the BKPRMI in Bogor, said the forum would collaborate with representatives from mosques across the city to hold Islamic musical and art performances as well as other festivities.

“We will bring back art-related activities, such as marawis [traditional percussion ensemble] and qasidah [Islamic pop music],” Nurdat said on Sunday.

The forum would also collaborate with several mosques for youth entrepreneurship programs, he said.

“We hope the young representatives from mosques in several districts and subdistricts of Bogor will join our network of mosque-based entrepreneurship,” he said, adding that the BKPRMI also cooperated with the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) to prevent attempts of radicalization and terrorism.

Read also: Mosques losing sway over youth because of online sermons, study shows

Nurdat bemoaned the religious discourse on social media, saying it aimed to persuade young men to join the “radical people power movement”.

“I’m saddened for the young men and Islam activists who have been pressured to join the people power protests in Jakarta, which are likely to turn anarchic. I hope the young mosque representatives in Bogor won’t be easily swayed by such pressure,” he said.

He went on to say that the BKPRMI would also intensify efforts to teach the youth about the dangers of religious radicalism. (rfa/mut)

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