Friday, December 8, 2017


Jakarta, Dec 8, 2017 (Antara) - Joining "the day of rage" called in by various Muslim-majority countries, Muslims in Indonesia held peaceful rallies in several regions, such as in Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java Province), Aceh Darussalam Province, Yogyakarta, Makassar (South Sulawesi Province), Semarang (Central Java Province), and Bengkulu, after performing their Friday prayers on Dec 8, 2017.
           US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to relocate the US embassy to Al Quds (Jerusalem in Arabic) has triggered condemnations from various parties, including President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Parliament, and Ulemas in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.  
   "Indonesia strongly condemns the US' unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and urges it to reconsider the decision," Jokowi told the press at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, on Dec 7, 2017.
          In Istiqlal (Freedom) Grand Mosque in Jakarta, the Friday prayer sermon on Dec 8. was dedicated to the Palestinian people's struggle for independence, particularly to Jerusalem, and called for Muslim solidarity and unity to fight for the liberation of the Holy Land from the colonization of Israel.
          Several hundred people congregated outside the US Embassy in Jakarta during a peaceful rally held as a mark of protest following US President Donald Trump's statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
         Bearing the flags of Islamic community organizations and banners reading "Trump is enemy of humanity" and "Jerusalem will never belong to Israel," several hundred people staged a peaceful protest to express their support for the Palestinian people following the US' move on Jerusalem.
             "Trump's decision has violated international laws and could endanger the peace process in Palestine," Agus Sudarmaji, a spokesperson of the Al-Aqsa Working Group, remarked during the rally in front of the US embassy in Jakarta.
           As a leader of a superpower, Trump has lost his mind, Sudarmaji asserted.

            "Jerusalem belongs to Palestine. We are all here to defend the rights of every Palestinian, and independence is the right of every nation," he stated, followed by protesters crying out aloud "Allahuakbar."
      During the rally, the protesters also called on the international and Muslim community to unite to protect Jerusalem, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites.
          Representatives of the US Embassy in Jakarta also recorded the statements of several people representing the protesters on the US' move on Jerusalem.
               Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, has also strongly condemned Trump's move, which could destroy world peace, Asep Irfan Mujahid, coordinator of the rally for NU, noted during the rally in front of the US embassy in Central Jakarta.
        NU urged the Indonesian government to consider its diplomatic relations with the US and cancel the operations of American multinational companies in Indonesia.
          "If this demand (canceling Trump's Jerusalem decision) is ignored, then deport the US ambassador from Indonesia," Mujahid, chairman of the NU Students' Association (IPNU), said.
            NU demanded that the UN give full membership status to Palestine and treat Palestine as an independent and sovereign nation.
          In Semarang, thousands of members of the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS) held a peaceful rally in front of the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque to denounce the US recognition of Jerusalem.
         Legislators Abdul Fikri Faqih and Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, Deputy Mayor Muhammad Haris of Salatiga, Deputy Speaker Ahmadi of the Central Java Regional Legislative Council, among others, participated in the rally, joining the worldwide call for the "day of rage" in solidarity with Palestine.
          The decision of US President Donald Trump has hurt the sentiments of Muslims and peace-loving people, Kamal Fauzi, head of the PKS chapter in Central Java, emphasized.
          Trump's announcement on Jerusalem on Dec 6, 2017, was provocative and a political blunder, he remarked.
        "We urge the Indonesian government to apply pressure on the US government to revoke the decision," he stated.
          The PKS has lauded the Indonesian government for strongly condemning the move by the US.
          "We reject the double standards of the US, which is not serious about finding a solution to the colonization of Palestinian land by Israel," he emphasized.
            In Makassar, tens of university students burnt US flags and demanded that the Indonesian government sever diplomatic ties with the US.
            In Yogyakarta, over hundred protestors condemned the US and Israel, and collected funds for the Palestinian people fighting for their independence.
         In Surabaya, some 2,000 protesters staged a rally in front of the US Consulate General office.
          "The relocation of Israel's embassy to Jerusalem is violation of international laws, violation of UN resolutions and jeopardizes world peace, as well as hinders the independence of Palestine," Arif Hari Setiawan, chairman of the PKS chapter in East Java, observed.
         In Bengkulu, hundreds of people protested in front of Baitul Izzah Mosque, and signed a petition against the US decision on a five-meter white cloth.
          "We oppose the US Government's decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and to relocate their embassy there," Benni Hidayat, coordinator of the rally, maintained.

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 08-12-2017

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