Muslims observe social distancing during a prayer at Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Friday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Vice President Demands Muslim Clerics Support Covid-19 Mitigation Tactics

BY :TARA MARCHELIN

MARCH 23, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has asked Muslim clerics to support the government's calls to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, including by appealing to them to stop organizing large religious gatherings.

"Muslim clerics must obey the government's order. The Indonesian Ulema Council [MUI] has also issued a fatwa restricting religious gatherings. Muslim clerics should participate in guiding fellow Muslims to follow the government's calls," Ma'ruf said in a press conference at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) headquarters in Jakarta on Monday.

Ma'ruf also asked MUI to issue a fatwa allowing the bodies of Covid-19 victims not to be bathed before funeral.

"To prevent Covid-19 transmission, we've asked MUI to issue a fatwa allowing the bodies of Covid-19 victims not to be bathed due to the difficult situation and lack of medical personnel," he said.

The vice president also asked MUI to issue a fatwa allowing Muslim medical personnel to skip ablution before praying while on duty.

"It's hard for Muslim medical personnel to perform prayers while on duty. MUI should issue a fatwa on ablution procedures to make it easier on them," Ma'ruf said.

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