March 2, 2012
The Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia, or PMI, in Indonesian) says it will never change its traditional logo that has made it famous around the world, despite criticism from an Islamist party, AsiaNews reports. The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party said the symbol of a red cross was too easily identifiable with Christian culture and traditions, but Red Cross volunteers rejected the claim, saying any changes to the logo would be giving in to the extremists. "Indonesia is a secular, not Muslim-based state," said PMI executive member Muhammad Muas. "[It] is a state that respects pluralism." Some experts suggested the demand to change the PMI symbol stemmed from the Islamist party's desire to link the Indonesian Red Cross to the Islamic red crescent.