Padang – Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin responded to the proposal for a new system to control and monitor places of worship. He stressed that monitoring places of worship is indeed the state's obligation.
"I think all monitoring of [religious] institutions is the state's obligation to prevent them from being exposed to radicalism," Ma'ruf said in a press conference after closing the World Islamic Entrepreneur Summit at the Pangeran Hotel in Padang.
He opined that a problem could arise if there is a specialization of an object such as a place of worship. In fact, places of worship have long been under government surveillance. "It is no longer necessary to mention that there is supervision of certain houses of worship," he added.
When it is made specific, it seems as if there is a suspicion that a certain place of worship is exposed to radicalism. "Let's just monitor it, instead of labeling it," the VP remarked.
Ma'ruf Amin reiterated that the government has long been monitoring all agencies, including places of worship, state institutions, ministries, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) so as not to be exposed to radicalism or radical acts. In addition, the government has so far implemented programs to counter radicalism, such as decentralization and counter-radicalism.
On September 4, 2023, Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Commissioner General Rycko Amelza Dahniel proposed a new mechanism to control and monitor all religious agendas in a hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III.
The government could also control who can deliver sermons in order to avoid the spread of violent ideologies and radicalism in places of worship.