JAKARTA, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- The Ogoh-ogoh parade, held during the Maulidur Rasul celebration, Islamic festivals and other national events in Banyuwangi, East Java, has been declared as “haram” or forbidden in Islam by an Indonesian ulama council.
This decision was made after a discussion with a fatwa team in response to the increasing prevalence of Ogoh-ogoh parades during Maulidur Rasul, meant to commemorate Prophet Muhammad's efforts in spreading Islam.
The Banyuwangi Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) conveyed its decision through a letter last Friday, citing that the parade, which bears a resemblance to Hindu religious rituals, has elicited negative reactions from both the Muslim and Hindu communities.
The council also urged religious and community leaders to prohibit the use of egg flower decorations resembling Ogoh-ogoh dolls and panther-like creatures called “Barongan” in the celebrations.
Ogoh-ogoh is a giant miniature symbolising evil creatures and is paraded around residential areas on the eve of “Nyepi Day” as part of a Hindu religious ritual before being burned as a symbol of eradicating evil, as stated in the letter.
The Banyuwangi MUI pointed out that the practice of adorning flowers with eggs and conducting Ogoh-ogoh parades featuring eerie miniatures-like elephants and dragons, accompanied by Balinese gamelan music, has drawn criticism from both Muslims and Hindus.
Therefore, the council emphasised that the Muslim community in the district is urged to distinguish between cultural activities and religious rituals.
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