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Jakarta Post

Kalla urges high-ranking officials to lead govt mosques amid extremism

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 26, 2018   /   10:01 am
Kalla urges high-ranking officials to lead govt mosques amid extremism Muslim men pray at a mosque of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs association on May 26, 2015, in Stuttgart, Germany. Muslims, mostly of Turkish origin, have seen their communities shaken by the mass arrivals of Arab refugees, but experts have also seen it a chance for positive change while cautioning against a revival of radicalism. AFP PHOTO / DPA / DANIEL NAUPOLD ++GERMANY OUT DANIEL NAUPOLD / DPA / AFP (AFP/-)

Vice President Jusuf Kalla has urged high-ranking government officials who have a deep understanding of Islam to lead government office mosques, following a recent study that found that dozens of mosques at government offices in Jakarta have been promoting extreme Islamic teachings.

Kalla, who also serves as the chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), said the appointment of high-ranking officials would prevent the spread of extreme teachings. At present, low-ranking officials lead most government office mosques in Jakarta.

“These appointments will serve as a filter [of the teachings of each mosque],” Kalla said during the council’s meeting in Jakarta on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Earlier this week, State Intelligence Agency (BIN) spokesman Wawan Hari Purwanto, revealed that imams at 41 places of worship in government offices in Jakarta alone were preaching extremism to their congregations, who are mostly civil servants, AFP reported.

The number was based on a study released in July by the Nahdlatul Ulama’s association of Islamic boarding schools and social development (P3M).

According to the report, at least 17 clerics were found to be expressing support or sympathy for the Islamic State (IS) movement, and were encouraging their congregations to fight for the Islamist group in Syria and Marawi, the Philippine city that was overrun by foreign IS fighters last year.

Responding to the report, Kalla said the council would ask for more information from representatives of the mosques. “We will ask each mosque, especially the ones located at government offices, to evaluate [their system].” (kuk)