JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesian police say they will take action against Islamic groups that use violence to enforce an edict from the country's leading Islamic body forbidding Muslims from wearing Christmas attire.
National police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said Monday the edict is not a law in Indonesia and that he has reprimanded local police who circulated leaflets based on the edict from the Indonesian Ulema Council.
Karnavian's remarks came after reports that members of the Islamic Defenders Front went to shopping malls in Surabaya, East Java province's capital, to remind businesses not to require Muslim employees to wear Christmas attire such as Santa hats. They were accompanied by about 200 police officers.
Surabaya police chief Muhammad Iqbal said they escorted the group in order to prevent any violence.