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Yogyakarta scouts supervisor apologizes for teaching kids ‘Islam yes, kafir no’ chant in viral video

Coconuts logo Coconuts 14/1/2020 Coconuts Jakarta
a group of people wearing costumes: Children taking part in a bigoted chant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Video screengrab from Kumparan Children taking part in a bigoted chant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Video screengrab from Kumparan

A supervisor for the Indonesian Scouts Movement (Pramuka) in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta has apologized for allegedly teaching small children a bigoted chant, footage of which went viral in the country this week.

A video of the chant, taken at a public elementary school in Yogyakarta, shows the unidentified supervisor teaching a group of kids, who are said to be Pramuka members, a very troubling chant that includes lines such as, “Islam yes, kafir (infidels) no.”

Pramuka prides itself as a non-discriminatory movement among genders, race, and religions.

“As a parent, I protested. This is the root of divisions and they are planting seeds of hatred. Pramuka’s inclusivity was tainted by the supervisor,” one parent complained about the chant, as quoted by Kumparan.

According to the school, the video was taken on Jan. 10. The school was not aware about the bigoted chant until after the video went viral and journalists came to ask questions.

The supervisor, who was externally sourced to oversee the school’s Pramuka activity, has reportedly apologized to the school and fellow Pramuka supervisors.

Yogyakarta Deputy Mayor Heroe Poerwadi, who also heads Pramuka’s Yogyakarta chapter, said that, based on the organization’s questioning of the supervisor, she came up with the chant on the spot and that Pramuka does not actually teach bigoted or racist chants. Heroe said the supervisor will be further questioned by the organization in the coming days, after which it will be determined if she would be given disciplinary sanctions.

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