NU Releases Fatwa Against Friday Prayer On the Street During Anti-Ahok Protest

Protesters pray on the streets during an anti-Ahok rally in Yogyakarta on Oct. 28. (Antara Photo/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)

By : Mikael Niman | on 1:21 PM November 25, 2016
Category : News, Jakarta, Religion, Security

Jakarta. The country's largest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama, has issued a fatwa which bans staging prayer on the streets, a stunt that Muslim hardliners have planned for the Dec. 2 street protest to demand the arrest of Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, a suspect in a blasphemy investigation.

Protesters plan to hold the Friday prayer out on the roads surrounding the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta that day as part of the demonstration.

40-million-strong NU warned Muslims not to join the street prayer, with chairman Said Aqil Siradj citing a recent fatwa against such an activity during NU's congress in Jakarta on Thursday (24/11).

"We've issued a fatwa which prohibits staging Friday prayers on the street," he said.

Next week's anti-Ahok protest is the third one in the last month.

Moderate NU has warned Muslims against taking part in the demonstrations, led by the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the most recent of which had turned violent.

Said went as far as urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to disband groups that fail to respect the state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

"Everyone has to uphold the Pancasila, our national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), the Republic of Indonesia and the 1945 Constitution," he said.

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