Indonesian President Calls For Unity To Face Extremism Threat

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 16, 2017

President of Indonesia on Wednesday urged Indonesians to unite to face national challenges including poverty and extremism.

In an address to parliament ahead of the Independence Day (August 17), he said that it is essential to address inequality and tackle the threat of radicalism.

On Tuesday, Indonesian police foiled a plot to explode the Presidential Palace with five militants arrested in West Java province.

The president said the government was not only working hard to address economic problems but also to strengthen the country's ideological foundations.

Religious tension in Indonesia has escalated since late a year ago after Muslim-led rallies requested Jakarta's then governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to step down over claims he insulted the Koran.

It was vital, he added that they protect the country's founding ideology - Pancasila - as it was only through unity that Indonesia could meet these challenges. But there are worries about growing intolerance undermining a tradition of moderate Islam in a country where Muslims form about 85 percent of the population, alongside substantial Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and other minorities.

In April, the then Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ally of Widodo, lost the bitterly fought city election to a Muslim rival and was later jailed for blasphemy, a sentence rights groups and worldwide bodies condemned as unfair and politicised.

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