The Jakarta Post
Three men who took down a black flag with an Islamic creed written in Arabic and burned it during National Santri (Islamic students) Day in Garut, West Java, apologized on Tuesday for creating an uncomfortable situation.
“I’m here to apologize to everyone, especially Muslims, because this incident might have created an uncomfortable situation [for them],” one of the men, who was wearing a black mask told the media at Garut Police Headquarters, as quoted by kompas.com.
“The flag that we burned that day was the flag that our government has banned – the flag of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia [HTI],” he added.
He also said that the incident was a spontaneous act and the action had nothing to do with the organization that they belong to.
They were allegedly members of the Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser) youth wing of the world's largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
Chief of Garut Police, Adj. Sr. Comr., Budi Satria Wiguna, said that the three men had been detained in police headquarters for safety reasons while waiting for the legal proceedings until the situation calms.
“We hope tonight before midnight there will be a certainty [about their status],” Budi said.
The video of the flag burning went viral on Monday and drew outrage from many Muslims who deemed it an insult to Islam. (hol)