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» 02/27/2012
INDONESIA
Indonesian Red Cross does not give in to Islamist, cross remains in logo
by Mathias Hariyadi
For Prosperous Justice Party leaders, the symbol is too closely identifiable with the Christian tradition. For Red Cross activists, changing it would mean giving in to fundamentalists. Former Vice President Kalla, a Muslim, had already praised the organisation for its work.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI in Indonesian) will never change the traditional logo that has made it famous around the world. The statement came following criticism from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), an Islamist party that says that the symbol of a red cross is too easily identifiable with Christian culture and traditions. Red Cross volunteers and activists reject the claim, saying that any changes to the logo are tantamount to giving in to the extremists. For former Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the demand is baseless.

PMI executive member Muhammad Muas said the logo was agreed to in the Geneva Convention of 1949, which Indonesia "officially ratified" and must respect.

The symbol is unrelated to Christianity. "Indonesia is a secular, not a Muslim-based state," he explained. It "is a state that respects pluralism".

Jusuf Kalla, a former vice president in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's first administration, has backed the current logo in the past.

"We should have pride in the PMI's red colour," said the devout Muslim from South Sulawesi and former Golkar leader on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the organisation in September 2011.

For him, the Red Cross logo is internationally recognised and respected by all parties in warzones.

Some experts suggest that the demand to change the PMI symbol stems from the PKS's desire to link the Indonesian Red Cross to the Islamic Red Crescent.

 


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See also
07/12/2012 INDONESIA
A Muslim and two Christians lead in Jakarta politics
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/14/2013 SYRIA
Red Cross and Red Crescent workers kidnapped by armed men in Idlib
04/17/2007 UN - IRAQ
The UN seeks help for 4 million Iraqi refugees
01/05/2008 IRAQ
Red Crescent : 20 thousand Iraqi refugees return home in December alone
10/04/2010 PAKISTAN
Needed: shelter for more than a million flood victims before winter
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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