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Indonesian Province Hosts Anti-Islamic State Workshop

FILE - A woman releases a dove as a symbol of peace during a rally against the Islamic State group in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 5, 2014.

Thousands of government officials from East Java in Indonesia have attended a workshop on the threats posed by the Islamic State and other radical groups.

During the workshop in Surabaya on Tuesday, experts and religious leaders talked about the dangers radical groups pose to Indonesian society.

The general chairman of the Islamic group Muhammadiyah, Din Syamsuddin, told the workshop that Islamic State is not a religious movement or organization of Islam.

"ISIS is a radical political group and movement with certain political interests and aims that are radical in nature, which mean wishing the destruction of everything down to the roots," he said.

Islamic theologist Quraish Shihab said he thought Islamic State had tarnished Islam's image as a religion of peace, because the group always uses violence to achieve its ambitions.

ISIS and its supporters, he said, not only reject the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad but reject them "with slanders."

The workshop, sponsored by Regional Leadership Forum of East Java, ended with an anti-IS declaration. Inspector General Anas Yusuf, chief of the East Java police, said the declaration was a form of resistance against IS.

He called for cooperation by police, the military and government officials, saying they "should all be in readiness to anticipate" IS developments in the region.

East Java Governor Soekarwo ended the day by urging religious leaders to spread public understanding of radical ideology such as that espoused by Islamic State militants. One aspect of radicalism, he noted, is opposition to democracy.

Dozens of Indonesians are believed to have joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. Indonesia, which has been running a high-profile campaign to combat IS recruitment, has said it is planning to revoke the citizenship of those who have joined the group.

Officials said the radical group contradicts Indonesia’s pluralist state ideology, which is called Pancasila.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.