NasDem Youth Wing Says Bandung Christmas Protest Taints Spirit of Tolerance

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, second from left, took to social media on Tuesday evening (06/12) to apologize after a Christmas celebration was disrupted by a group identifying itself as the Defenders of Ahlus Sunnah (PAS). (Antara Photo/Fahrul Jayadiputra)

By : Yeremia Sukoyo & Eko Prasetyo | on 5:07 PM December 08, 2016
Category : News, Religion

Jakarta. The youth wing of the National Democratic Party, or NasDem, said the disruption of a Christmas celebration in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday (07/12) proves the existence of intolerant groups that disagree with Indonesia's pluralistic Pancasila ideology.

NasDem Youth Guard chairman Ivanhoe Semen said it is the duty of all Indonesians to maintain unity and diversity in the archipelago.

"This nation belongs to all citizens and we have a duty to maintain its [ideological] pillars," Ivanhoe said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Indonesia'sĀ 1945 Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

"A peaceful life is our commitment. The public should not be afraid of acts of terror," Ivanhoe said. He added that such incidents must not be repeated and that there is no room for anyone trying to disrupt religious tolerance in Indonesia.

Ivanhoe said the incident in Bandung should not affect the spirit of defending Pancasila and the nationalĀ motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) that have been maintained properly since independence.

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil took to social media on Tuesday evening to apologize after the Christmas celebration was disrupted by a group identifying itself as the Defenders of Ahlus Sunnah (PAS).

The group claimed that the event organizers did not have proper permits, while a banner they carried said "The West Java Muslim community asks the celebrations be moved to a designated space [church], not a public space."

Meanwhile, a source within the church committee, who asked not to be identified, said all permit requirements for the event had been fulfilled, including submitting notifications to the government and police.

Public facilities can be used for religious activities if organizers acquire permits from authorities, such as the Dec. 2 mass rally in Central Jakarta, which saw hundreds of thousands of Muslims participate in Friday prayers at the National Monument (Monas) complex.

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