Minister follows Jokowi’s directive on not hosting group iftar

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas noted that he and other ministers of the cabinet are following President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi’s) directive to not host group iftar during 2023 Ramadan.”It is not a prohibition but (rather a) directive from the president, considering the condition and situation. We, as his subordinates, obviously follow the president’s directive,” Minister Choumas stated at the Presidential Palace here on Friday. The minister also dismissed the narrative that such a decision would make the president appear to have an anti-Islam stance. “No. It is just the group iftar (for which such a directive has been issued). Of course not. President has great concern for Islam. President pays utmost attention to Muslims,” he noted. eneral Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) Yahya Cholil Staquf seconded the remark on a separate occasion. He also suggested that rather than hosting group iftar, state civil apparatuses are better off sharing food for iftar with those in need of it. “Sharing with poor ones, I think that is important. Giving away (food for) iftar for poor ones, for those stuck in traffic jam, et cetera. No need to make it a grand feast,” he noted on Friday. Moreover, followers of NU are not keen on participating in group iftar, as they already have plenty of activities lined up for Ramadan, he pointed out. Speaking in a lighter vein, Staquf admitted to feeling highly concerned or worried on receiving an invitation for group iftar when Ramadan was around. “Group iftar makes (you) feel stifled. I am most concerned whenever it is time for fasting, then I get invited to group iftar. Really afraid,” he stated. On March 21, 2023, the cabinet secretary issued a letter number R-38/Seskab/DKK/03/2023 about group iftar. The letter contained some of Jokowi’s directives to ministers of the cabinet, national defense force commander, national police chief, attorney general, and leaders of institutions for the duration of the Islamic holy month. The first point to be noted is that the country is in the midst of transitioning, from pandemic to an endemic situation, so caution should continue to be exercised. Secondly, in relation to that transition, activities in which people celebrate iftar together are not to be hosted during the month. Lastly, the directive also applies to regional leaders. On Thursday, March 23, the cabinet secretary clarified that the letter is only for state officials and not aimed for members of the general public. baca-jugaRelated news: Do not host group iftar: Ministry urges officialsRelated news: Ministry prohibits mass iftar, open house for civil servantsRelated news: Ramadhan – Do not reheat iftar food for sahur: nutritionist

Source: Antara News Agency (ANA)