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West Sumatra MUI calls on Muslims not to vote for parties that reject Islamic bylaws
Kumparan - November 18, 2018
The call was in response to a recent statement by Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) chairperson Grace Natalie saying that the party rejects perda based on religion, including perda based on syariah (Islamic law).
"If the reports are true then in surrendering myself to Allah, I Gusrizal Gazahar say to the entire Islamic community in this country particularly in the Land of Minang [an ethnic group in West Sumatra]: it is haram [forbidden under Islamic law] to vote for this party or anyone who is backed by this party", said Gazahar on his Facebook account on Sunday November 18.
Gazahar explained that syariah based bylaws create reform in a better direction. According to Gazahar, there is nothing in the Constitution which prohibits this and are no other religious communities are harmed by these bylaws.
"Making regional regulations which contain Islamic provisions is one of the steps we are attempting in order to revive the values of akhlaq [the practice of virtue, morality and manners in Islam] in this nation", he added.
"All of this is being done because of [our] love for Allah SWT [Almighty God] and Rasulullah SAW [the Prophet Muhammad] which is realised by developing the souls of this nation's children. All of this is being done within the framework of the united Indonesian Republic", he said.
When sought for confirmation about the Facebook status, Gazahar confirmed that this is his position as West Sumatra MUI chairperson. "This is [the position] I have conveyed", he said when contacted by Kumparan.
Based on Kumparan's records, the first syariah based bylaw in West Sumatra was issued by the Solok regency in 2001 which regulates the obligation for students and prospective married couples to be literate in reading the Koran. There are also several West Sumatran bylaws on the eradication of maksiat [immorality, violating God's law] and obligatory clothing for Muslims in Padang City.
Earlier, PSI chairperson Grace Natalie explained that the opposition to syariah based bylaws represented one of her party's campaign pledges. For her, there are a number of perda which restrict democratic freedoms such as those on clothing for students in certain schools.
"Because from the very start Indonesia has been diverse. If we don't provide a [legal] umbrella and safeguard our diversity then we will become like Syria, Iraq and no one will benefit", she said on Sunday November 12.
The PSI is backing incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the 2019 presidential election so calling on Muslims "not to vote for this party or anyone who is backed by this party" is also a call not to vote for Widodo.
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service. The original title of the report was Ketua MUI Sumbar Haramkan Muslim Pilih Partai yang Tolak Perda Syariah.]
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