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Jakarta Post

Police should thank us for ‘educating’ people who insult Muslims: FPI

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 30, 2017   /   12:39 pm
Police should thank us for ‘educating’ people who insult Muslims: FPI Stay defiant -- Islam Defenders Front (FPI) Habib Rizieq Shihab gives a press statement after a questioning at the Jakarta Police on Jan.23. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

The Islam Defenders Front (FPI) has claimed the Internet sweeping conducted by several FPI members to hunt down social media users allegedly insulting its leader, Rizieq Shihab, was an initiative of members in several regions, not an official program of the organization.

However, as an organization, FPI fully supports the initiative because it is in line with the organization’s vision, which aims to avoid conflict among religious followers that can create dissension in Indonesia.

“Police should thank us for educating irresponsible people who have insulted ulemas and defamed religions,” FPI spokesperson Slamet Maarif told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

The most recent online prosecution allegedly committed by FPI was directed toward a female physician, Fiera Lovita, 40, from Solok Regional Hospital in Padang, West Sumatra. The FPI accused her of insulting Rizieq by posting comments on her Facebook account about his alleged involvement in a pornography case.

Several FPI members confronted Fiera at her workplace on May 23, pressuring her to delete her comments and write an official letter saying she regretted her actions. “For a deterrent effect we want the police to arrest and take a legal action against her,” Slamet said.

Contacted separately, FPI secretary general Habib Novel condemned Fiera's posts on Facebook. “As an educated Muslim woman she should not insult [Riziq Shihab] especially in West Sumatera, a Muslim majority area,” Novel said.

“We have rules and laws. FPI supporters should not act like vigilantes. They should not act as judges in the field,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto said.  (hol/ebf)