Fri, 23 Jun 2000

Students support Islamic customs

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: Hundreds of students rallied at the provincial legislature here on Thursday demanding the adoption of Islamic principles in the province when the regional autonomy law takes effect next year.

The students, who claimed to represent the Joint Forum for Muslim Students (Forbes-PPMI), said they sought the enforcement of Islamic principles because Muslims accounted for the majority of the province's population and the territory had long adopted Islamic traditions.

In their statement, the students urged the local councillors to support their move and relay the proposal to the central government.

"From a historical point of view, the adoption of Islamic principles is an effort to restore the historical heritage of Islamic kingdoms in South Sulawesi," the students leader Iswari Al Farisy said.

Legislature member Suryadarma, who received the students' delegation, asked the demonstrators not to use pressure to promote their aspirations. His statement came after four councillors were forced to sign their support for the students' demand. (27)