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First time in Presidency, Jokowi Celebrated Idul Fitri in the Capital

Jakarta, – President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo joined at least 3,000 other Muslims in a morning prayer at Jakarta’s grandiose Istiqlal Mosque on the day of Idul Fitri (25/6), the first time the President celebrated the occasion in the capital.

Since taking office in October 2014, President Jokowi celebrated Idul Fitri outside of the capital namely in Aceh in 2015 and in Padang, West Sumatra in 2016.

In yesterday’s gathering at the Istiqlal Mosque, which is just a stone’s throw from the Catholic Cathedral in Central Jakarta, Jokowi was accompanied by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, well-placed officials and foreign diplomats. Those officials included Istiqlal Mosque’s grand imam Nasaruddin Umar, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin.

The morning prayer started at 7 am and was broadcasted live by televisions. Quranic exegesis expert Professor M. Quraish Shihab delivered a sermon that supported the celebration’s theme ‘Strengthening Unity and the Oneness.”

Throughout his 30-minute sermon, Quraish Shihab stressed the urgency of maintaining national unity while citing the basic principles propagated by the Quran. He called on all Muslims to be more watchful of all the ‘satans’ who are trying to disrupt (national) unity.”

The President and First Lady Iriana Jokowi, together with the Vice President and wife Mufidah Jusuf Kalla are scheduled to hold an open house today at the State Palace for people to visit them to celebrate Idul Fitri, according to Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.

Reportedly, the President and the Vice President had planned to leave for Solo (Central Java) and Makassar (South Sulawesi), respectively, to celebrate Idul Fitri with the local people. But, it is not clear yet when they will leave.