WEST KALIMANTAN: A planned raid on several “immoral” hotels by Islamist hard-liners in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, was shut down by local police Saturday night after the so-called “morality police” began to assemble and arm themselves, Jakarta Globe reported.
Hundreds of armed men dressed in white uniforms massed in South Pontianak after Saturday night’s prayers, Pontianakn police chief Sr. Comr. Muharrom Riyadi told the Indonesian news site Tempo.co. The men were reportedly members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the Islamic Defenders Force (LPI), both organizations known for staging violent Ramadan raids on allegedly “immoral” businesses.
The FPI reportedly planned to shut down certain hotels that remained open during the holy month, Afli Herlambang, of the West Java chapter of the FPI, said.
“It is an immoral place,” he told the Bandung-based newspaper eksposrakyat.com. “We demand that they do not open during Ramadan. It is good that our friends from Laskar (LPI) are also involved. We want the government to revoke [the hotels’]permit.”
But local police said that the hotels were in compliance with government regulations.
“They have the right to conduct their business as long as they comply with the regulations issued by the government,” Muharrom told Tempo.co.
West Kalimantan police chief Brig. Gen. Unggung Cahyono stood behind local police, issuing a statement saying that officers will arrest any protestors who resort to violence.