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NU warns RI muslims against Islamophobia in hajj pilgrimage issue

NU warns RI muslims against Islamophobia in hajj pilgrimage issue

Jakarta, NU Online
Indonesian Muslims should be alert towards Islamophobia manifested in calls for the transfer of the management of the hajj pilgrimage from the religious affairs ministry to an independent body, noted Muslim cleric Hasyim Muzadi said.

"Managing hajj pilgrimage needs big capital, a situation which will enable foreign investors to take it. What if the investors are Jews?" KH Haysim Muzadi, chairman of law-making body of the Indonesia's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), said here on Tuesday.

He added: "We have to remember that the hajj pilgrimage is not just a journey or a touristic trip."

Haysim who was deputy leader of the Indonesian hajj pilgrims in this year`s hajj pilgrimage season, made the remarks in response to the many quarters who suggested that the Indonesian hajj pilgrimage should be managed by a body, instead of by the religious affairs ministry.

He said that hajj pilgrimage was a ritual practice so that it should be organized by a party which really understood the implementation of hajj practices.

Yet, the former NU leader admitted that the ministry of religious affairs, like other government agencies, had weaknesses in organizing the hajj pilgrimage services.

"What is important now is how to provide assistance for religious affairs ministry so that it would be optimal in organizing hajj pilgrimage," Hasyim said.

He said things that needed to be improved not only hajj facilities but also the way how to organize pilgrims so that they would be able to increase the quality of their rituals where in them there were values that could improve the nation`s characters.

Hasyim said matters that became the focus of attention of a number of quarters were relating to accommodation, transportation and catering because these sectors offered money.

"So, in essence, what lies behind the calls for a hajj management body is money. In this case, Muslims should be alert on Islam phobia," he said.

He said that the hajj management had been several time organized by private companies but it turned out to only create chaos. (dar)

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