Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is bracing for another massive rally on Friday that the Muslim community members stage for protesting the burning of a black flag bearing an Arabic writing of "Tawhid".
The calls for Muslims to join the "Act of Defending Tawhid 211" have gone viral on various popular social media platforms under the hashtag of "AksiBelaTauhid211", including https://twitter.com/hashtag/AksiBelaTauhid211?src=hash over the past week.
In response to this planned rally, which is actually the continuation of the last Fridays demonstration, the Indonesian National Police have doubled the number of security personnel deployed to safeguard those expressing their democratic rights.
According to Deputy Chief of the National Police Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmanto, around 14,000 security personnel would secure the massive rally, due to take place in front of the State Palace, Central Jakarta, after the Friday prayer.
The security personnel consist of those from the police, military, and the Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), he told journalists after attending a meeting at the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Ministry here on Thursday.
For the sake of maintaining the law and order, Ari Dono Sukmanto called on the community members joining the "Act of Defending Tawhid 211" rally not to violate laws, and disrupt Jakartas traffic flows.
Last Friday (Oct 26), around 1,000 Muslims coming from the capital city and its surrounding areas had staged a rally in front of the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Ministry in Central Jakarta for protesting this flag-burning incident.
Carrying tens of "Ar-Rayah" and "Al-Liwa" flags bearing the Arabic writing of Tawhid as well as Indonesias national flags, the demonstrators marched from the Patung Kuda (Horse Statues) traffic circle on Jalan Merdeka Barat to the ministry office.
During the rally, many demonstrators were seen helping smoothen the flow of Transjakarta buses, and cleaning up the event by picking up garbage that crowds left.
Several representatives of the demonstrators, keen on expressing their aspirations, were received by the ministrys top officials representing Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, who was on an official visit to Palu.
The similar rallies had also been staged simultaneously in various cities and towns, including Medan, and Bandung, during which the demonstrators demanded justice in resolving the case.
The black flag bearing the Arabic writing of "Tawhid" was burned by several members of the Nahdlatul Ulamas Barisan Ansor Serba Guna (Banser) youth wing at a commemorative event of this years National Santri Day in Garut, West Java Province, on Oct 22.
Those committing the act were quoted by local media as saying the flag that they burned was that of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an Islamic organization that the government had banned.
The police have summoned three Banser members for investigating the flag-burning incident, which was condemned by various Islamic clerics arguing that the flag bearing the basic creed of Islam was commonly used by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
For billions of Muslims around the world, Tawhid is accepted as an absolute monotheism and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the messenger of Allah (Almighty God). Thus, it holds an important position that differentiates Muslims from those not embracing Islam.
The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, edited by John L.Esposito (2003: 317), defines Tawhid as "the defining doctrine of Islam. It declares absolute monotheism - the unity and uniqueness of God as creator and sustainer of the universe."
All true Muslims are keen to continue living with Tawhid until their death. Hence, the burning of the flag cannot then be accepted by so many Muslim community members in the country, as the Tawhid written on the flag belongs to all Muslims.
The founder of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Habibana Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, conveyed a statement, published in a video going viral on twitter, that burning the flag bearing the Arabic writing of Tawhid cannot be justified for whatever reasons.
Instead, burning the flag is indeed a vile deed and an insult to the absolute monotheism of Islam, said the respected ulema, currently residing in Saudi Arabia.
Regarding the November 2 rally, as revealed in information that the FPI circulates on twitter, the crowds of demonstrators will start marching to the State Palace from the Grand Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta after performing the Friday prayer.
Asked about this rally, Deputy Chief of the National Police Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmanto urged people living outside Jakarta not to join it because the police have handled the flag burning case, and Indonesia is mourning for the Lion Air plane crash.
Wiranto, who admitted that staging a rally or demonstration was the right of every citizen, shared Dono Sukmantos view arguing that the rally that would be held on Friday (Nov 2) was not relevant to the fact that the police handled the case.
Therefore, the rally would only spend the nations energy. Moreover, various Muslim figures also urged the Muslim community members to handle the flag-burning case through dialogues for finding an acceptable solution and let the law enforcers resolve it.
Source: ANTARA News