REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) criticized his colleague of French President Emmanuel Macron for insulting Islam. This statement was made by Jokowi after meeting with religious leaders, including MUI, Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, the Indonesian Bishops' Conference (KWI), the Indonesian Hindu Dharma Association (PHDI), the Indonesian Buddhist Association (Permabudhi), and the Indonesian Confucian Religion Council ( Matakin) on Saturday (October, 31).
Jokowi saw that Macron's statement had hurt the hearts of Muslims around the world and divided religious unity. In fact, according to him, unity is needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Indonesia strongly condemns the statement of the French President which insults the religion of Islam, which has hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world, which could divide the unity of the world's religious communities at a time when the world needs unity to face the Covid-19 pandemic," Jokowi said in a press statement.
In addition to criticizing the French President, Jokowi also condemned the violence in Paris and Nice, France which had claimed lives. Jokowi is of the view that freedom of expression which injures the honor of chastity and the sacredness of religious values and symbols cannot at all be justified and must be stopped.
"Associating religion with acts of terrorism is a big mistake. Terrorism is terrorism. Terrorists are terrorists. Terrorism has no law with any religion," said Jokowi.
The President also invited the world community to prioritize religious unity and tolerance to build a better world.
As is known, tensions in France peaked when there was an act of beheading a teacher who had presented a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Follow-up actions took place, including sadistic killings that also took place at a church on Thursday (29/10).
The French government's response also made the situation worse. A mosque has even been closed following the arrest of several Muslim groups deemed extremist by the government, and even suggested emptying shelves of food labeled halal in supermarkets. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin called French Muslims an enemy from within.
French President Emmanuel Macron also vowed to continue to fight Islamic separatism. The controversial statements have drawn strong reactions from several Muslim countries, while France's Muslim population remains in confusion. French Muslims without exception condemn the violence of these heinous acts, but they also fear being labeled terrorists.