JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The police have recorded a total of 34 cases of violence or destructive behavior by FPI (Islam Defenders Front) members across the country in the period 2010-2011, a spokesman said.
"According to our records, the FPI engaged in violence and destructive behavior in 29 cases in 2010 and in 5 cases in 2011 in the following regions : West Java, Banten, Central Java, North Sumatra, and South Sumatra," Insp Gen Saud Usman Nasution, head of the National Police’s public relations division, said here Friday.
So far, he said, the police had mainly played a role in facilitating the central and regional governments in supervising and nurturing existing mass organizations to keep them from taking high-handed or arbitrary actions in exercising their freedom of expression. "There are certain rules that must be observed and if a violation happens, it is our job to legally process it."
A mass organization could be freezed or disbanded if it had committed or was responsible for certain unlawful acts such as fanning inter-ethnic, inter-religious or inter-racial enmity, discrediting the government, obstructing development, disrupting political and security stability, Saud said.
Before a mass organization was disbanded, the governor, district chief or mayor of the region concerned must reprimand the mass organization involved in writing. If in three months’ time, the warning is ignored, the government can dissolve the organization, he said.
Meanwhile, FPI chairman Habib Rizieq , accompanied by some of his associates, on Friday came to the religious affairs ministry where he was received by Minister Suryadharma Ali and the ministry’s secretary general, Bahrul Hayat.
Habib told reporters he had come to the ministry to explain that the aims of FPI’s struggle were justice and eradicating corruption. He also said the FPI had undergone a paradigm change.
Referring to the violent incidents that recently happened at the home affairs ministry and a few other places,he said they were no longer characteristic of FPI’s activities. "We have abandoned that paradigm."