Muslim Indonesia tries to halt spread of IS teachings in the country

(Photo: REUTERS / Ari Jala)Displaced families from the minority Yazidi religious group, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjarl west of Mosul, take refuge at Dohuk province, August 4, 2014. Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported on August 4.

Indonesia has issued a ban on the teachings of the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, being propagated online through a YouTube message encouraging locals to sign up with extremist movement.

Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, told journalists Monday that the ban was reached after a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in mainly Muslim Indonesia, ucanews reports.

"The ISIS teachings are not a religious issue," he said. "The government and the State reject and ban ISIS teachings from growing in Indonesia.

"Every effort taken to expand the ISIS' teachings must be prevented. Indonesia must not be a place to spread such teachings," he noted.

The group promotes an extreme version of Wahhabi Islam, a radical movement believing in the fundamentalist ideals of the religion. The movement has often been cited as the source of global terrorism.

ISIS, which has taken the name of Islamic State, has seized control of several key areas in Iraq and Syria, and has persecuted Christians and Shia Muslims in its strongholds.

In Iraq, IS fighters drove Christians away from Mosul, threatening to kill them if they continued staying in the area without converting to Islam. Militants also destroyed important historical sites in the area Christians consider holy.

To prevent the spread of the group's influence in Indonesia, Suyanto said the government sought assistance from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and religious leaders to help them raise public awareness about what is with the principles of the IS.

The minister said he asked the country's communications ministry to prevent materials containing the teachings of the IS from spreading online through social media.

Both Indonesia's National Police and the National Counterterrorism Agency have been enlisted to help to check on Indonesians intending to travel to South Asia and the Middle East.

Copyright © 2014 Ecumenical News