Air. (Antara Photo/Trisnadi)

Papua Police: Idul Adha Celebrations Will Be Peaceful


SEPTEMBER 08, 2015

Jakarta. The Papua Police have assured the Muslim community in Tolikara district that celebrations for Idul Adha — the Islamic feast of sacrifice — can take place without an disturbance on Sept. 24.

Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, chief of Papua Police, pointed to stronger cooperation between police and the military to strengthen security in the district, which made national headlines when a small mosque burned down during a riot there during Idul Fitri celebrations on July 17.

Besides the mosque in the district capital Karubaga, shops owned by Muslim migrants were also vandalized and set on fire.

Members of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), the largest religious group in the district, had complained about the use of loudspeakers during a mass prayer for Idul Fitri — which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month — and requested the prayer to be canceled. Tensions rose and police opened fire at some point, killing a protester.

“The state has regulations in place to guarantee religious freedom, and [allow] worship for each [recognized] religion,” Paulus said, adding that mass praying for Idul Adha is part of religious activities for the Muslims and will thus be secured by police.

“We have added more personnel for our [Muslim] brothers in Tolikara. We will guarantee [security] and we will coordinate with the military,” Paulus said.