Authorities in East Java are searching for a man who was caught on film tossing and kicking offerings baskets that were placed on Mount Semeru in Lumajang.
According to local tradition, the offerings, which are known as sesajen, help appease spirits and ward off misfortune from the active volcano. Semeru erupted in early December 2021, killing at least 57 people and displaced thousands from nearby villages.
Yesterday, a short clip went viral showing a man who took issue with the sesajen as they were not compatible with his Islamic faith. He tossed one basket containing fruits and kicked another containing rice downhill.
“These incurred Allah’s wrath. It’s seldom realized that these [traditions] incur Allah’s wrath, so Allah doomed this place,” he said to the camera.
It’s not clear when the video was taken. Lumajang Regent Thoriqul Haq said he’s certain the man is an outsider, who may have come to the region to volunteer to help victims.
“Whatever the perp’s motive to want to volunteer in Lumajang, I am disappointed by his actions. It violated our values of tolerance among all religions, all tribes in Lumajang,” Thoriqul said today.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest Islamic clerical body in the nation, condemned the man’s actions even though offerings are inherently unIslamic as they contradict the belief in Allah as the only God.
Local police have yet to locate the man in the video as of this article’s publication.