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Indonesia Highlights: Indonesia to Monitor the Suspension of the AstraZeneca Vaccine in Other Countries | Rebellious Democrat Party Members Report AHY to the Police | Secular and Religious Authorities

March 13, 2021, 08.38 AM

The party’s internal divisions hampered it from effectively playing a role as a leading opposition party to President Joko Widodo’s administration, alongside the Social Justice Party or PKS.


Secular and Religious Authorities in Banten Province Crack Down on Pre-Islamic Ritual Bath

Police in Banten province’s Pandeglang regency has detained 16 people who were found performing Hakekok, a pre-Islamic ritual bath that is suspected of cult tendencies by conservative Muslims in the area.

Pandeglang Police Department deputy police chief, Police Commissioner Riky Crisma Wardana said “the 16 persons were holding Hakekok in the middle of a palm oil plantation on Thursday. The participants, who were in the nude, included three children.”

Pandeglang regent Irna Narulita weighed in on the incident. “The revival [of Hakekok] is cause for concern, as it occurred in Pandeglang, an area known for its [devout] adherence of Islam,” she said on Friday, March 12.

“We will work together with the local branch of the Indonesian Ulama Council [MUI] to provide guidance for the participants of the ritual.” Hamdi Maani, the head of MUI’s Pandeglang branch, agreed and highlighted its cultlike characteristics.

However, he maintained that the leader of the group was contrite. “The head of the Hakekok practitioners, who was identified as an individual named Arya, claimed to have seen the error of his ways. He also wished to come back into the [Islamic] fold.”

Hamdi maintained that the incident marked a comeback of Hakekok, after MUI stamped out the practice a few years ago.


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