Muslim scholar Komaruddin Hidayat said on Saturday (04/02) mosques in Indonesia should provide a guideline on content of sermons to avoid the prayer house being used as a platform to deliver political speeches.
Komaruddin’s statement came after Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saiffudin said he plans to require all Muslim preachers to be certified since many of them now use their time on the pulpit to vilify other groups.
If the minister goes ahead with his plan, only certified preachers will be able to deliver sermons at a mosque.
“We don’t need certification, what we need is to regulate the content of the sermons and change the culture at the mosques. We can’t let mosques be turned into a political stage,” Komaruddin said on the sidelines of the Madania Festival in Bogor, West Java, state news agency Antara reported.
Mosques should curate preachers to deliver their sermons and quiz regular visitors on what topics they are interested in, Komaruddin said.
He also called on Muslim organizations such as Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama to help monitor the content of sermons delivered in mosques all over the country.
Komaruddin, a rector at the Syarief Hidayatullah State Islamic University, urged the Religious Affairs Ministry to review the preacher’s certification plan.
“Hopefully the government can help mosques to change their culture. They need guidance, not control. There are mosques where the sermons have become very aggressive, we need to change that,” he said.