President Jokowi Clarifies Statement About not Mixing Politics with Religion
Date 8 April 2017
President Joko Jokowi Widodo has clarified his statement about not mixing politics with religion.
The statement has sparked a negative reaction from several Muslim organizations that accused the President of promoting secularism.
Dont misunderstand my statement. It is impossible not to connect politics with religion, the President said at the inauguration of KH. Surowijoyo Mosque and Sholawat Building at Singo Ludiro Islamic Boarding School in Mojolaban Subdistrict, Sukoharjo Regency, Central Java, Saturday (8/4).
My statement does not mean that we have to separate religious values with politics. Religion is very important in politics, the President said.
The President also said that religion would always be a very important factor in politics, since every form of politics must be based on honesty and morality, things that were taught by every religion. Thats what connects religion and politics, President Jokowi said, adding that religion and politics must walk side-by-side.
However, the President said that religion must not be used as a political commodity.
Previously, during a working visit to Barus in Central Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra, last month, President Jokowi said religion and politics should be separated as mixing them together could be dangerous for national unity. The statement received criticism from a number of Muslim organizations.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also reminded all of the diversity of ethnicity in Indonesia. Our country is very diverse. Our country has 714 ethnicities spread over 17,000 islands, the President said.
This is what I will always remind that we have to realize that this is a big country with diverse ethnicities, the President further said.
President Jokowi also reminded all that there must not be any frictions between different groups of the society. If we all live in harmony and be united, we will become a big force with a big potential, the President said.
Accompanying the President during the inauguration were Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Sukoharjo Regent, Chief of Central Java Regional Police, Diponegoro Millitary Commander, and Head of Singo Ludiro Islamic Boarding School Agung Syuhada. (DNA/FID/ES) (EP/YM/Naster)