M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo rebutted the allegation that the State Palace is backing Al Zaytun Islamic Boarding School in Indramayu, West Java, which has been long rejected by local people as it is affiliated with the outlawed Indonesian Islamic State (NII) and spread heretical teachings.
"Does it mean me from the Palace [who backs Al Zaytun]? No, no, no," the President said assuredly today, June 26, in Palmerah Market, Central Jakarta.
He also rebutted information saying that Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko is the backer of the controversial Islamic boarding school.
The public is then asked to be patient regarding the government's response toward the school.
"Please be patient. I have ordered Pak Menkopolhukam and Pak Religious Affairs Minister to investigate it. When the results are out, I will convey them," Jokowi said.
Al Zaytun Islamic Boarding School has recently drawn the public spotlight after its leader, Panji Gumilang, is considered to have given heretical teachings such as allowing men and women to perform prayers in unsegregated rows, allowing adultery in which sins can be redeemed with money, and planning to open a Christian boarding school.
In a speech, Panji even claimed that he is a communist. Indonesia bans communism back in 1966.
According to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) website, Al Zaytun is a source of controversy for the past decades. Since 2002, MUI found strong indications of relationships and affiliation between Al Zaytun and the radical group NII and its heretical teachings.