President meets PBNU leaders to thank them for peaceful rally

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization at its headquarters here on Monday following Fridays massive demonstration by Islamic organizations in the capital city.

“I wished to express my appreciation to all NU board members, including those in regions, for making soothing statements that helped ensure that the demonstration on November 4 passed off peacefully by sunset,” he said after the meeting.

The president stressed that the government and the PBNU can accomplish many things to serve public interest, boost the economy and prevent radicalism.

“I thanked the NU which acts as a key pillar of our Unitary State of Indonesia, Pancasila (state ideology), values of pluralism and when it comes to issues of tolerance and national unity,” he noted.

The meeting which began at 3.30pm and lasted an hour, was attended by NUs general chairman Said Aqil Siradj, secretary general Helmy Faishal and advisory boards chairman, Maruf Amin.

President Jokowi disclosed that he also wished to meet the leaders of Muhammadiyah, another major Islamic organization in the country.

Said Aqil Siradj had backed the police which acted against those who indulged in rioting on Friday.

“We do not believe it was something done by the peaceful demonstrators. We suspect that certain quarters wished to disrupt the peaceful event,” Said Aqil Siradj claimed after his meeting with the president.

He appreciated the demonstrators for underscoring the importance of civil democracy and a genuine desire to remind officials about ethics.

He stressed that leaders must not utter dirty and controversial words that could cause divisions in the country.

“Now it is time for us to strengthen our Islamic brotherhood, our fraternal ties with the government and among all human beings,” he urged.

Aqil Siradj hoped that the government would hold such a dialogue more often with all inter-faith leaders to create conducive atmosphere.

He appealed to all the people of Indonesia to unite and build a brotherhood to strengthen national unity.

NUs associate chairman Marsudi appealed to the people to wait for the results of the legal process in the alleged case of blasphemy committed by Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

“Please be calm and wait for the process to be over,” he advised.

He assured that the government would process the case and deplored anarchic actions after the peaceful demonstration ended at 6pm.

“No matter how well intentioned is the aim is if it is achieved by resorting to anarchy,” he counseled.

Hundreds of thousands of Moslems held a peaceful demonstration to protest against Basuki Tjahaha Purnama, allegedly guilty of committing blasphemy.

After the 6 pm deadline for the demonstration had passed, a clash flared up with miscreants burning police cars and police firing teargas.

Source: Antara News