Suherdjoko, Pekalongan – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has urged GP Ansor, the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, to be brave and to be on the front line in safeguarding the state ideology of Pancasila and national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).
The President also said that he expected GP Ansor to protect the state from terrorist threats and separatism.
"GP Ansor has shown that our country's heritage is the spirit of warriors and the sincerity of heroes. GP Ansor can't be easily threatened, and that's our spirit as a nation," Jokowi told thousands of GP Ansor members at a commemoration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, known in Islam as Maulid Nabi, in Pekalongan, Central Java, on Thursday evening.
GP Ansor was recently in the spotlight after a division in the group, Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser), was involved in the burning of a black flag bearing the Islamic creed written in Arabic.
The incident occurred during National Santri Day celebrations in Garut, West Java, on Oct. 22, and led to several rallies in various cities accusing Banser of insulting Islam.
Ansor said the Banser members burned the flag because they thought it was the flag of outlawed group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
Jokowi said GP Ansor should insist that Pancasila could not be replaced by any other ideology and its members should be patient in facing all problems and challenges, and put the interests of the nation first.
"I want all GP Ansor members to safeguard and maintain our unity and brotherhood as the country with the largest Muslim population. Our biggest asset is us our unity and harmony. We should keep our Ukhuwah Islamiyah [Islamic brotherhood] and Ukhuwah Wathaniyah [brotherhood of the nation]," Jokowi said. (foy)