Students more intolerant, FPI cancels talk dispersal

Tolerant: Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo (right) accepts a copy of the book Tan Malaka, Gerakan Kiri dan Revolusi Indonesia from its author, Harry Poeze, during a book discussion at the School of Humanity Studies, Diponegoro University in Semarang on Monday evening. The discussion was moved from the Stonen area to the campus due to threats from groups, including the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). (JP/Suherdjoko)

Tolerant: Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo (right) accepts a copy of the book Tan Malaka, Gerakan Kiri dan Revolusi Indonesia from its author, Harry Poeze, during a book discussion at the School of Humanity Studies, Diponegoro University in Semarang on Monday evening. The discussion was moved from the Stonen area to the campus due to threats from groups, including the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). (JP/Suherdjoko)

Radicalism among senior high school students is on the rise, teachers of Islamic education in Semarang, Central Java, have warned.

The topic emerged during a focus group discussion organized by the Religious and Social Study Institution (eLSA) in Semarang, Monday.

Supervisor of Islamic education teachers Semarang M. Fauzin said that a student of a school that he supervised refused to salute the flag because the student was afraid of being polytheistic.

“We are concerned about students of their age believing in counter-Constitutional and anti-Pancasila ideologies,” Fauzin said.

eLSA director Tedi Kholiludin said Islamic teachers were integral to the prevention of radicalism, as their role was to teach tolerance and interfaith respect.

“We are worried that students are becoming narrow-minded,” Tedi said.

Quoting a survey that eLSA conducted on 112 students of 20 senior and senior vocational high schools in Semarang region, Tedi said that 60 percent of respondents said saying “Merry Christmas” was haram — forbidden by Islamic teaching.

The survey, according to Tedi, also revealed that 98 percent of respondents considered Islam to not be against Pancasila, while 28 percent of respondents, who accepted Pancasila, supported the implementation of Islamic Sharia.

Separately, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) Central Java branch on Monday evening decided against the forceful dispersal of a book discussion on Dutch researcher and author Harry Poeze’s Tan Malaka, Gerakan Kiri dan Revolusi Indonesia (Tan Malaka, Leftist Movement and Indonesian Revolution) volume 4.

Thanks to talks between Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Diponegoro University (Undip) rector Sudharto, dean of Undip’s School of Cultural Sciences Agus Maladi — who all attended the discussion — and former FPI advocacy team chair Zaenal Abidin Petir regarding the event, the FPI canceled their plan.

Yunantyo Adi of the Semarang History Activist Community, which along with the Hysteria Community organized the event, said that Zainal mediated between local FPI chairman Syihabudin and the organizing committee.

“We met. I explained about Tan Malaka and gave him the book […] He finally expressed no objection to the discussion,” Yunantyo said.

The author, Harry Poeze spent 41 years studying Tan. Volume 4 of the book focused on Tan establishing the Murba Party up until his murder in 1949 by First Lt. Sukotjo (who was later East Java governor) in Selopanggung subdistrict, Kediri, East Java. The Jakarta Post

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