The Jakarta Post
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has announced the formation of the Tolerance Task Force to maintain peace during services of any religion following at least two incidents in the past two weeks.
The formation of the task force, which will coordinate with the Bandung Police, is a response to incidents in which groups forcibly dispersed religious activities.
“This is the first response team that you can contact if you encounter the prospect of a disruption in worship activities. I hope the Tolerance Task Force can maintain peace and make everyone feel protected by the state and that they do not have to give in to those who disrespect unity,” Ridwan said on Tuesday.
The task force is comprised of young people of various religious backgrounds. Bandung Religious Affairs Agency head Yusuf Umar said the young people would get training on the law on religious rights.
Besides an incident in which Ahlu Sunnah Defenders (PAS) broke into an event held to celebrate Christmas, the Padjadjaran University choir’s fund-raising performance in Trans Studio Mall was also disrupted and halted by one person.
It was reported that members of the choir were in the middle of singing Christmas carols when a man approached them and asked them whether there were any Muslims among them. He also recorded the choir’s songs using a smartphone.
“The choir should have reported the incident to security guards. They should have talked with the mediation of security guards. And if that didn’t work, they should have reported the matter to the police,” Ridwan said. (evi)
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