REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, MATARAM -- North Sumatra will host the 27th Musabaqoh Tilawatil Quran (MTQ, Quran Recital Competition) in 2018.
West Nusa Tenggara Governor M Zainul Majdi handed over a flag of MTQ to North Sumatra Governor Tengku Erry Nurdin to mark the selection of North Sumatra as the next MTQ host, in the closing ceremony of the 26th MTQ, here, Saturday evening.
The Religious Affairs Ministry decided to hold the next MTQ in North Sumatra based on a decree of the ministry.
Participants of Banten Province came out as the overall winner in the competition, while Jakarta's contingent in the second place, Riau Islands Province in the third, and West Nusa Tenggara in the fourth place.
The 26th National MTQ was held at the Islamic Center in Mataram, from July 29 to August 6, with some 1.2 thousand participants from 34 provinces.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opened the MTQ on July 30 in a ceremony also attended by some 30 foreign diplomats.
The president in his remarks hoped that the MTQ would instill tranquility in the hearts of the people, making them as tranquil as the heart of the Quran reciters.
He also said that he had issued a presidential regulation to establish an international Islamic university in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Jokowi hoped that the university would serve as a source of Islamic knowledge and studies, a source of Islamic moral enlightenment, and a fortress to uphold egalitarian Islamic values and tolerance.
This year, for the first time the organizing committee applied information technology in the MTQ to improve the contests' transparency.
"The e-MTQ application is being implemented to monitor the presence and registration of participants at the National MTQ," Faturrahman of the West Nusa Tenggara administration noted recently.
The technology also facilitated the judging and scoring processes and the live streaming of the MTQ on http://www.mtqn26ntb.com.
A total of 1,303 people applied to participate in the annual competition, but 103 failed the administrative selection process.