Alfian Rumagit, Rahmad Nasutio, Jayapura, Papua – The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in Jayapura, Papua's capital city, expressed rejection to calls for jihad or fighting in the name of religion in connection with the recent Wamena rioting case that killed 33 innocent civilians.
Chairman of the NU-Jayapura Chapter KH Kahar Yelipele appealed to those intent on waging jihad in Papua to not proceed with their plan since their presence would only create new problems.
He pointed out that the district and provincial governments had been handling the Wamena case. Moreover, security personnel have also restored law and order and enforced the law against those accountable for the fatal rioting.
Hence, in his statement in Jayapura on Monday, Yelipele made an earnest request to residents in Papua and outside Indonesia's easternmost province to exercise self-restraint and allow the Indonesian law enforcement agencies to resolve the cases.
Yelipele expressed his deepest condolences to individuals and families suffering deeply from the deadly riot that broke out in the highland city of Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Sept 23, 2019.
The call for jihadists to go for war in Papua was recently echoed by the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI). To this end, this organization opened registration for Indonesian Muslims keen to go for jihad there.
KH Kahar Yelipele straightforwardly refused this call for jihad in Papua, emphasizing that Indonesia is a great nation, with people belonging to diverse ethnicities, who stand united under the state ideology of Pancasila. All elements of the Indonesian society should preserve and continue to echo the spirit of unity in diversity, he explained.
"Let us all echo and spread the spirit of peace by not creating and proliferating hoaxes. Let us continue to uphold our tolerance and brotherhood in the land of Papuans," Kahar Yelipele, also a member of the Jayapura Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB), stated.
Yelipele urged Papuan students in Java and other islands who had returned home before finishing their studies to go back to the universities for the sake of their own future and the nation's future.
The Wamena rioting has caused misery to numerous Indonesians since not only 33 innocent civilians were killed but several thousand survivors were also compelled to seek refuge by abandoning their burned and destroyed properties.
Several survivors, originally from provinces, including West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, have also returned to their hometowns.
The rioting was spurred by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that triggered fury among its residents, according to Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja.
Several local media reports confirmed Rodja's claim that the riot was spurred by hoaxes centering on a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.
Taking into account the casualty count, the Wamena riot has become the deadliest of the string of violence that broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua over the past two months following the Surabaya incident on Aug 16 that had triggered resentment and fury among native Papuans.
The Indonesian police have held Benny Wenda, a campaigner of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) leading a good life in the United Kingdom, accountable for the spate of violence that erupted in these two Indonesian provinces, including the rioting in Wamena.