MUI fatwa commissioner arrested by counter-terrorism unit over suspected Jemaah Islamiyah links

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) HQ in Central Jakarta. Photo: Istimewa
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) HQ in Central Jakarta. Photo: Istimewa

The National Police’s Densus 88 counter-terrorism unit has arrested a member of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) over his alleged ties to terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Ahmad Zain An-Najah, a member of the fatwa (religious edict) committee at the nation’s largest Islamic clerical body, was arrested by Densus 88 in Bekasi on Tuesday. Police said Ahmad is suspected of being a council member at JI and chaired a charity organization that was set up to fund the terrorist group.

Densus 88 also arrested two other clerics, Indonesian People’s Da’wah Party (PDRI) Chairman Farid Okbah and a university professor identified by his initials AA, on similar charges of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism.

MUI was quick to distance itself from Ahmad by suspending him from the organization, saying that it’s not accountable for his personal beliefs and activities outside of the council.

“He’s been suspended until there’s a final legal decision on his case. This is so that he doesn’t tarnish MUI’s good name,” MUI Chairman Abdullah Djaidi said today.

“MUI promotes a moderate understanding of Islam. We’re not left or right; we’re in the middle. As for personal beliefs and activities outside of MUI, we can’t always detect that.”

Police have not specified possible punishments that await the suspects.

JI is an IS-affiliated regional terror group blamed for the deadly 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people and the suicide bombing at the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta the following year that killed 13. 

Also Read — Loss and Forgiveness: Bali bombing victim remembered

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