"To clarify the issue, I suggest the BNPT reveal the names of Islamic boarding schools that they have accused to be affiliated with terrorist groups," MUI deputy chairperson Anwar Abbas said in Jakarta on Thursday.
He urged the agency to allow the Islamic boarding schools, commonly known as pesantren in the Indonesian language, that have come under its scanner to clarify their position while it investigates their possible links with terror organizations.
The cleric warned that continued public anxiety caused by BNPT's reluctance in disclosing the pesantren's names would prevent their students from learning properly in school.
"If the BNPT declares a pesantren is guilty, then we must openly test the BNPT accusation together to prove the boarding school's actual condition," Abbas said.
"By testing the accusation openly, the public will understand whether it is true or not, and this will also diminish their concern over enrolling their child in a pesantren," he explained.
"The public disquiet will badly affect pesantren and this issue will make parents afraid to enroll their child in pesantren; this is something that we hope will not happen," the deputy chairperson said.
Earlier, BNPT head Boy Rafli Amar, during a meeting with the Commission III of the House of Representatives (DPR RI), had said that some pesantren have come under the agency's radar for suspected affiliation with terror groups.
He confirmed that at least 119 pesantren are suspected to have links with ISIS-affiliated Anshorut Daulah, while 68 pesantren are suspected to be affiliated with Jamaah Islamiyah, and 11 pesantren with Jamaah Anshorir Khalifah.
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