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MUI reiterates call for boycott against Israeli-affiliated goods

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Ikhsan Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), has reiterated the call to boycott products affiliated with Israel as a form of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

"The boycott movement against Israeli and Israeli-affiliated products should not wane; it must continue to be consistently promoted," Ikhsan said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Ikhsan said that MUI has consistently encouraged the public to avoid global products affiliated with Israel, by the enforcement of MUI's fatwa (religious decree) concerning the Legal Support for the Struggle of Palestine, released in November. MUI did not explicitly specify which products should be boycotted in its fatwa.

In the fatwa, MUI declares it obligatory for Muslims to support the struggle for Palestinian independence through various means, including donations, almsgiving, or charity. Additionally, the fatwa prohibits any form of activity and support for Israel's aggression against Palestine.

"MUI recommends that Muslims avoid transactions and the use of products affiliated with Israel and those supporting Israeli occupation and Zionism as much as possible," said Ikhsan.

He claimed that the boycott initiative has prompted many to abandon various products of multinational companies affiliated with Israel or found to support Israel's genocide in Gaza. Ikhsan even mentioned that the boycott movement has become a global phenomenon, bringing about significant changes in society and strengthening preferences for local products.

"This is something gratifying because local products are capable of taking over the positions of brands affiliated with Israel," said Ikhsan.

"One way to support the struggle of the Palestinian people is by continually promoting the boycott movement to exert pressure on Israel and simultaneously nurture public support for domestic products," he added.

The Chairman of the Indonesian Retail Entrepreneurs Association (Aprindo), Roy Nicholas Mandey, said that the public's boycott of Israeli products has led to a decrease in sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by up to 20 percent. Despite this impact, Roy respected MUI's fatwa.

"We have recorded a decline in the past two weeks for the products mentioned on social media, which circulated about 18-20 percent," Roy told Beritasatu.com on Dec. 1, 2023.

Last year, Deputy Chairman of MUI Anwar Abbas called for Indonesian citizens to consider boycotting products from Elon Musk's business network, such as X (Twitter) and Tesla. Additionally, other companies such as Unilever Indonesia, McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Zara have also been targeted in the boycott.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/mui-reiterates-call-for-boycott-against-israeliaffiliated-good