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Destruction of Quran not freedom of expression: Indonesian VP
Published on: Saturday, January 28, 2023
By: Antara News
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Destruction of Quran not freedom of expression: Indonesian VP
Protesters demonstrate against Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan in Bogor.
JAKARTA: Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has emphasised that recent incidents involving the destruction of the Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands cannot be condoned as freedom of expression.

“I do not think it is right if it is (called) freedom of expression if people can do whatever they want without regard to the rights of other people,” he said at a press conference at the University of Indonesia here on Thursday.

The government has taken action to minimise the potential problems that might arise in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, due to the incidents in the two European countries, he informed.

“The (Indonesian) government has made diplomatic notes (to the governments of Sweden and the Netherlands) regarding these incidents and will summon their ambassadors because these incidents may trigger (social) conflict,” Amin said.

If the two incidents are not addressed immediately, they may trigger conflict in other countries, he cautioned.

“This (conflict) potential can lead to a hostile attitude (in the society). Hence, we must be careful of any actions and words,” he said.

Thus, to prevent similar incidents, it is necessary to apply the theology of harmony, Amin stressed.

“The theology of harmony—which emphasises that religious narrations cannot convey views which can cause conflict—must be maintained, not only in our country, but also in other countries,” he stressed.

The Indonesian government is consistently making efforts to prevent any conflicts from arising out of insulting religion, he said.

“We must prevent the blasphemy of religion. We must give sanctions (to perpetrators), thus it does not happen and cause conflict,” the Vice President added.

He expected the two incidents in Sweden and the Netherlands to not have an impact on the harmony of the Indonesian people.

“We have been considered as the most tolerant nation in the world…We already have the foundations, spirits, and characters that we have cultivated so far as a tolerant nation. Do not let intolerant views to enter here (Indonesia),” he added.

On January 21, 2023, copies of the Quran were burned by right-wing Swedish-Danish politician and extremist Rasmus Paludan outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

To carry out his actions, he got permission from the Swedish government, which allowed them because it considered them a part of freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, a right-wing Dutch politician and the leader of an Islamophobia group Pegida Edwin Wagensveld tore up several pages of the Quran and burnt them in The Hague, the Netherlands, on January 22.

Their actions drew criticism from several Muslim leaders and organisations around the world, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt-based Islamic organisation Al-Azhar.

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