14 questioned over Christmas tree adorned with word "Allah" in Indonesia

14 questioned over Christmas tree adorned with word "Allah" in Indonesia
PHOTO: Novita Hotel

Jambi Police intensified an investigation over a Christmas tree decorated with the word "Allah [God]" in Arabic script allegedly erected by a four-star hotel in Jambi and questioned 14 people following the suspension of the hotel's operation.

"Those questioned are people who knew about the ornaments," Jambi police chief Brig. Gen. Yazid Fanani said on Sunday.

Several journalists and the employees of Novita Hotel are among witnesses questioned by investigators over the tree. Police also urge people not to be easily provoked by the incident and not to cause public tension.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Jambi's Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Adri Hasan slammed the hotel for the incident, which he claimed was blasphemous.

"We want this case to be thoroughly investigated to prevent restlessness among Muslims," he said.

Jambi Governor Zumi Zola also called on all parties to monitor security and tolerance in Jambi and not to get involved in any misconduct. However, Zumi also expressed regret over the incident that could have stemmed from the hotel's negligence.

The Jambi municipal administration decided to temporarily suspend the operation of Novita Hotel over the word Allah as one of the ornaments decorating the Christmas tree in the hotel's lobby.

Jambi Mayor Syarif Fasha said on Friday the decision to close down Novita Hotel was made to ease religious tensions related to the matter.


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