Malang police get cash, Qur'ans from Saudi Arabia

Qur'ans and aid for mosque renovations promote Islamic teaching and understanding, local people say.

By Aditya Surya for Khabar Southeast Asia in Malang, West Java

February 06, 2014
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Malang police have been distributing the Qur'an in their community after a recent donation of 1,200 Bahasa-language versions and Rp. 200m ($16,400) in cash from Saudi Arabia.

  • A Muslim woman reads the Qur'an in Mecca. The Saudi government recently donated 1,200 Bahasa-language Qur'ans to police in Malang, East Java. [Mustafa Ozer/AFP]

    A Muslim woman reads the Qur'an in Mecca. The Saudi government recently donated 1,200 Bahasa-language Qur'ans to police in Malang, East Java. [Mustafa Ozer/AFP]

The aid was initiated by police officers who contacted Saudi grant-making representatives directly, Malang Police Chief Deriyan Jayamarta told Khabar Southeast Asia.

"For the communication made by our staff members, we received a good response from the Kingdom. The Qur'an donation and aid will help our members and local people here to learn more about Islam," he said.

The aid money would be used to renovate the Sabilul Huda Mosque in Malang, he added. Renovations are expected to be completed in June, in time for Ramadan.

Malang resident Yunita Ashari said the aid will increase opportunities for the region's children to be exposed to Islamic teachings.

"Malang is a small town, and with the expansion of the mosque we expect that our children will have more space to play but at the same time, learn about the Qur'an," she told Khabar.

No politics involved

Saudi Arabia previously donated money to support Islamic educational institutions.

"I think every gift from Saudi Arabia for Muslims in Indonesia is to help them understand Islam and to practice Islamic teachings in real life. There are no politics involved," said Khairuddin, an Islamic leader in Malang. He added the donation was a good example of how Muslims can help each other.

Police Chief Deriyan said the donation had nothing to do with the new Malang regulation that permits female police officers to wear the hijab at work. Females accounted for only 5% – or about 200,000 – of the total number of law enforcement officers in Indonesia at the end of 2013, he said.

"We do not recognise any kind of politics in this aid," Deriyan said.

Countering extremism

Experts believe the aid will limit intolerance and terrorism.

"If we have a good understanding of Islam and the Qur'an, we will be more tolerant of others and appreciate the differences which will in turn, start to curb terrorism," Khairuddin told Khabar.

Deriyan said local authorities continue to monitor the region closely, especially after a homemade bomb exploded at the Bank Mandiri ATM last month.

"We will balance good Islamic teachings with security awareness and preparedness," he said.

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