The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has unveiled a seven-point programme to reverse what it sees as a nationwide slide in morals that induces criminality and violent behaviour.
"The National Movement to Correct the Nation's Morals is our initiative to improve morality in Indonesia. As we can see, the levels of violence in Indonesia have been increasing, including murders, drug abuse and sexual deviation. Those crimes are not only against state law but also Islamic law," MUI chairman Din Syamsuddin told Khabar Southeast Asia.
"We will continue this until 2015. After that, hopefully, there will be improvement, and Indonesia will be more peaceful."
MUI's recipe for morals
Launched May 13th, the MUI programme calls for toughening child protection laws, revitalising religion-based education, monitoring entertainment programming for pornography and violence, promoting morality-based institutions, and reviving the Pancasila philosophy, among other goals, according to The Jakarta Post.
The MUI-initiated programme will make the country safer, said Aysha Noorlina, a student at the Islamic University in Jakarta.
"We all agree that to develop our country we need security. More importantly, our young generation is Indonesia's future. If they are being abused or molested, they may be traumatised and this can affect their future," she told Khabar.
The best approach to introducing this movement is through schools, religious institutions and social media, she said.
The programme is for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Chairman Aqil Siroj said for his part.
"MUI is initiating this, but the programme itself is the people's movement. We are all responsible for protecting our children and keeping our region secure. MUI will encourage everyone to be engaged regardless of religion or ethnicity," he told Khabar.
In Tangerang, cleric Muhammad Bagus Cahyono said he would introduce the programme to the entire community. As a cleric, he said he felt responsible to answer this call.
"I will do whatever I can and hope that other Indonesians will transfer this spirit to their fellow citizens. We need to work harder on this. This is part of Islamic teaching, and this is true jihad, fighting the bad to reach a peaceful world," he told Khabar.