Celebration of Mawlid in Indonesia. Leader calls to emulate the Prophet (s)

Erwida Maulia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Sat, 02/27/2010

In a message commemorating the Prophet Muhammad's birthday on Friday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the country's politicians to emulate the Prophet in his practice of politics.

He said the Prophet set good examples of how to lead and build a country, and that with his leadership and personality he had managed to turn Medina from a land of ignorant people into a civilized nation.

"Our Prophet is a model not only to Muslims, but to all leaders. We need to learn and emulate his attitude and personality in leading his country and nation at that time," Yudhoyono said during the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad's birthday at the National Monument (Monas) Park in Central Jakarta.

"Let's emulate his thoughts, his spoken words, his attitude in loving his people and respecting others," he added.

Earlier on Thursday evening, during commemorations at the State Palace, the President echoed similar sentiments. He reminded the audience of the need to follow the Prophet's example by adopting "civilized" and "ethical" politics.

"The democracy we need to build is a democracy accompanied by trustworthiness, ethics, civility and respect for moral values; not a democracy based on hostility and the intention to bring about the fall of others," Yudhoyono said.

His address comes amid mounting political pressure to oust two of the President's key aides, Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Recent developments in the Bank Century bailout inquiry at the House of Representatives has led to friction within the government coalition led by Yudhoyono's Democratic Party.

The Golkar Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), two coalition members, are among the most outspoken critics in the case.

Members of the two parties have called Boediono (then Bank Indonesia governor) and Sri Mulyani's controversial decision to disburse Rp 6.76 trillion (US$716 million) in bailout funds possibly wrongful.

The commemoration of the Prophet's birthday at Monas was attended by thousands of Muslims.

The holiday was also celebrated by Muslims nationwide, who held events, mostly mass prayers or sermons. Local traditions also imbued the holiday.

Antara news agency reported that in Yogyakarta, the commemoration was led by Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, who called on Muslims to follow the examples of the Prophet in a range of matters, including faith, morality, economics, politics, law and governance.

In Sidoarjo, East Java, the local administration held Bandeng Kawak Festival, a competition for milkfish farmers who breed the largest fish.

In Tapin, South Kalimantan, 500 security officers were deployed to provide security at the Baayun Maulid ceremony, in which infants and toddlers are rocked on small fabric cradles.

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