Home News Indonesian Muslim leader calls for vigilance following Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

Indonesian Muslim leader calls for vigilance following Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

The religious leader warned that Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan can create a new wave of radicalism in Indonesia

An Indonesian Muslim religious leader called for vigilance following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan last week.

“We are called to be fully alert and remain always vigilant,” said Said Agil Siradj, an Indonesian Islamic scholar.

Siradj, chairman of the executive council of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in the world, also urged the country’s police and military “to unite and cement our national unity.”

He warned that the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan can create a new wave of radicalism in Indonesia.

The Islamic scholar called on Indonesians to defend the country, its “values, cultures, and local wisdoms.”

“You may pursue your studies in Saudi Arabia,” he said in an address on Friday to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day on August 17, “but you are seriously told not to bring Arab-based traditions and culture.”

“You can also bring technology from the West as well as from the Far East, but never bring with you their way of life,” said the religious leader.

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On Saturday, Indonesia announced that it has moved its diplomatic mission from Kabul to Pakistan after its air force evacuated dozens in the wake of the Taliban’s seizure of power last week.

“Temporarily, the diplomatic mission in Kabul will be done from Islamabad,” said Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s foreign minister.

The initial plan had been to “continue our diplomatic mission in Kabul with a small team” but changed due to a “new development,” which she did not specify. She did not take questions.

Indonesian citizens who were evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk down the stairs from the Indonesian Airforce’s aircraft as they arrive at Halim Perdanakusuma airbase in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 21, 2021, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. (Antara Foto/Galih Pradipta/ via Reuters)

The Kabul airport has been the site of chaos in recent days, with thousands of desperate Afghans trying to flee as they clutched papers, children and belongings, as people from other countries also sought to leave after US and other foreign troops withdrew.

At least 12 people have been killed since the Islamist insurgents took the capital on Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

Retno called for a “an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned inclusive political process” that will bring peace and stability in the country, and for women’s rights to be upheld.

Four Indonesian diplomats in the Pakistan-based mission will assess the situation in Afghanistan daily to determine next steps, she said.

An operation for Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, to fly home 26 of its nationals, including embassy staff and children, took longer than anticipated due to the situation at the Kabul airport, she said.

Indonesia also picked up five Filipinos at the request of their government and two Afghan nationals, Retno said. – with a report from Reuters

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