Police urges mass organizations not to carry out sweeps during Ramadan

The holy fasting month of Ramadan is only about a fortnight away. While most Muslims are content with carrying out these days as usual by abstaining from food and drinks during the day, the sad fact is there are those who see Ramadan as a time when they can forcefully impose their values on others.

Chief among them are “Islamic” mass organizations, some of which appoint themselves the country’s morality police during Ramadan by sweeping establishments and businesses that don’t observe the rules of the holy month, such as serving food during the day or holding nightlife events.

The Jakarta Metro Police has urged these mass organizations to keep calm during this year’s Ramadan and leave law enforcement to the police.

“Mass organizations shouldn’t carry out sweeps, [they should] trust the police,” said Jakarta Metro Police Spokesperson Awi Setiyono, as quoted by Detik.

Awi added that any vigilante raids during Ramadan would be against the law and that the perpetrators would be punished accordingly.

“Everybody, not just mass organizations. Anybody who breaks the law will be punished severely,” Awi said.

Such pleas from the police just before Ramadan have become an annual occurrence. Even though some mass organizations, like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), said they’d still carry out sweeps despite police warning last year, there actually weren’t any major incidents of religious intolerance in Jakarta and people were generally respectful towards each other during the previous Ramadan. May that show of tolerance continue this year.

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