Religious figures urge candidates not to upset people’s beliefs

Prof. Din Syamsuddin bersama para tokoh agama

Prof. Din Syamsuddin bersama para Tokoh Agama dalam konferensi pers “Pesan Bersama Para Tokoh Agama Indonesia, 17/10/16

Inter-Religious Council (IRC) president Din Syamsuddin has urged electoral candidates and their campaign teams not to upset people in their religious beliefs. Doing so would kindle public rejection, as had happened to Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

“We hope none of the [candidates] will interfere with the beliefs of other people, as it will touch a sensitive area and cause a [public] reaction,” he said at the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilizations (CDCC) in Central Jakarta on Monday.

Regarding Ahok’ statement on Surah Al Maidah: 51 during his visit to Thousand Islands on Sept. 27, Din said there were various interpretations of the verse and Ahok should not have offered any.

The problem in this case lay with Ahok’s interpretation of the verse, he added.

However, because Ahok had apologized, Muslims needed to forgive him, Din said.

The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) general secretary Gomar Gultom had made a similar suggestion.

“We suggest all parties refrain from saying or doing things that may cause dispute among residents, especially regarding sensitive issues like those connected to ethnic, religious, racial or intergroup affiliation,” he said. (bbn)

Callistasia Anggun Wijaya | The Jakarta Post

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