Islamic leaders indifference to social problems leading to new ‘deviant’ sects

Kompas – November 15, 2007
Indonesian Islamic Saviors Movement protest in Jakarta (salam-online)
Indonesian Islamic Saviors Movement protest in Jakarta (salam-online)

Jakarta – The Indonesian Islamic Saviors Movement or GPII is urging the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) to immediately find a solution to the various problems facing the Islamic religious community. As an institution that provides a sanctuary for various Islamic organisations, the MUI is being asked to take responsibility for safeguarding the safety of Islamic teachings and the community’s morals.

These demands were conveyed during a demonstration by the GPII in front of the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Wednesday November 14.

GPII coordinator Pangalu Alam said that the religious community is confused about the situation they find themselves in. The majority of the destitute, poor, malnourished, migrant workers overseas and corruption suspects are members of the religious community.

Despite this, the leaders of the Islamic religious community themselves are not paying enough attention to these problems. As a consequence, many religious community members are becoming apathetic and seeking an escape precisely by forming and joining new religious teaching that the MUI deems as deviant.

“If the MUI does not quickly seek a solution to the religious community’s various problems, then be more and more [new] religious teachings will [emerge] in Indonesia”, said Alam.

[Translated by James Balowski.]