Indonesia Islam leaders stir row over Chinese New Year | Bangkok Post: news

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Indonesia Islam leaders stir row over Chinese New Year

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As Indonesia and other countries with Chinese diasporas welcome the Year of the Snake, some Islamic leaders have ignited a religious row by declaring the celebrations "haram" and off limits for Muslims. 

Muslim women Widi Astuti (L) and Lusi Kusuma visit a Buddhist temple in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta, on February 8, 2013 as minority Chinese-Indonesians celebrate the Lunar New Year. As Indonesia and other countries with Chinese diasporas welcome the Year of the Snake, hardline Islamic leaders have ignited a religious row by declaring the celebrations 'haram' and off limits for Muslims.

After decades of repression under the dictatorship of Suharto, who rose to power after a bloody purge of communists and Chinese in the late 1960s, Chinese-Indonesians are now accepted in mainstream society of the largely Muslim nation.

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