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Nat’l Police, Ulemas Hold Dialog to Ease Tension

Jakarta. Nasaruddin Umar, the top imam of the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, has called for regular dialog between Islamic organizations and the police.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting between the police and public Islamic organizations at the National Police Academy in South Jakarta on Tuesday (31/01), Nasaruddin said Indonesian ulemas should help calm the situation in the country.

“This event has preserved our unity and showed how we can cool down the situation to face internal or external issues. There is some interesting phenomenon lately that needs our attention [regarding] nationalism,” he said.

“We [police and the ulemas] want to educate the congregation and citizens. The difference is that the police have investigative duties, while we ulemas do not,” he added.

Nasaruddin expressed his wish for similar meetings between Islamic organizations and the police to be held regularly to create a sense of familiarity between the two parties.

“If the police and Muslims unite, issues can be resolved well. There was also a suggestion to invite other religious organizations to create a sense of the same nationality,” he said.

When asked whether the event is effective without the presence of hardline organizations – despite having been invited – the former deputy religious affairs minister said everything will be beneficial in time.

“At least there is [new] knowledge about our resources. New data. There were critical questions, although none [of the hardline organizations] were present. I see that the distance should be reduced. Dialog is a good measure to resolve issues,” Nasaruddin said.

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