Christian Radio Station Targeted

Apr 23rd, 2006, in News, by

A radio station broadcasting Christian music and programs has aroused the ire of radical Muslims in Cirebon, west Java.

About fifty activists of the Front Umat Islam (Islamic Community Front) and the Gerakan Pemuda Anti Separatisme (GAPAS) (Youth Anti Separatism League) descended on the premises of the radio station, Suara Gratia, to complain about the subversion of Islam being done there:

They are broadcasting for the Christian community but their permit is for a general audience. The majority of people here are Muslim so it’s clear they have a certain agenda/mission.
(Mereka berdalih siaran itu untuk komunitas kristiani, tetapi izin siarannya untuk umum, sementara di sini mayoritas umat Islam, sehingga jelas ada misi tertentu.)

so said Andi Mulia of the Cirebon branch of the FUI. He added that many Muslims had already been “trapped” or “ensnared” as they innocently tuned into the radio station unaware that Christianity was its focus.

They were cunning, he said, in that they broadcast general programs on family and psychological issues, which were likely to appeal to Muslims, but they provided solutions to personal problems by quoting Biblical verses. This was how they trapped Muslims.

One Taufik, the chairman of the GAPAS, went further and said that the station was seeking to encourage Muslims to become apostates. This was obvious, he said, because why else would a Christian radio station broadcast in a majority Muslim area? He added:

We already demanded that they stop broadcasting last Friday but they just continue as usual. So wer’e not responsible if some people are already fed up with the station’s attitude.
(Kita sudah somasi Jumat lalu, dan mereka tetap saja menyiarkan seperti biasa. Jadi, kita tidak bertanggungjawab kalau ada orang yang sudah mulai kesal atas ulah radio itu.)

Jimy Gideon, the director of Suara Gratia said:

Not all programs are Christian, only at certain times, and this is in accordance with the rules.
(Tidak semua siaran dakwah kristiani, karena hanya pada jam-jam tertentu saja, dan ini sudah sesuai aturan yang ada.)

but he admitted that the station had a “general” licence, not a “dakwah”, or proselytising, one.

The chairman of the FUI in Cirebon, Salim Bajri, was firm:

If they want to proselytise in church that’s fine because it’s in front of their own people but don’t do it to the Muslim community in Cirebon.
(Jika mau dakwah di Gereja silahkan saja karena itu berhadapan dengan umatnya sendiri, tetapi jangan dakwah kepada umat Islam di Cirebon.)

Evidently simply talking about a religion is proselytising.

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