Prabowo Grand Campaign's Gender-mixed Prayer Lines Stirs Controversy

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JAKARTA, PINUS PRESS - A photo of mixed gender prayer lines in Prabowo-Sandi final presidential campaign stirs controversy in the media (9/4). The photo shows a large number of men and women in a prayer together for for their candidates’ win in the presidential election held the following two weeks. However the public quickly point out that the men and women are praying in the same line, which is not allowed according to islamic rules.

The grand campaign, which is the final campaign for the president and vice president candidates number 2, was held in Gelora Bung Karno on Sunday, 7 April 2019. The venue itself was a stadium that has the capacity of 77,000, was fully filled with people.

Grand Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU); the largest independent islamic organization in the world, said that there is no exception for the rule.

“It doesn’t matter where the place is, the line of prayer for men and women must not be mixed,” told Vice General Secretary of PBNU, Masduki Baidlowi. He mentioned that a time of worship is a platform for islams to be closer with God, therefore it is not allowed to violate the laws that He set, including the separation of men and women.

Masduki highlighted that such case is allowed only in emergency situations. However he continued by saying that a presidential campaign was not an emergency, and the worship procedure should have been treated with more caution.

Prabowo’s rival vice president candidate Ma’ruf Amin, who is also the chairman of Majelis Ulama Indonesia responded to the controversy when asked by reporters. “I really don’t understand how he managed it. Men and women lines have always been separated.”

“This was not prayer in a mosque. This prayer was done in a field and we could not control where the men and women should have stood, especially not with this many people, i think there could be hundreds of thousands or even millions,” told the official speaker of Prabowo-Sandi success team.

Written by: Willy Gunardi