2 stories here:
Bucktooth Bashir says Muslims have a religious duty to take up arms against non-believers
He said it. If I said it they would call me a greasy, racist Islamophobic bigot and force me to attend a few interfaith reeducation sessions to Â correct my politically incorrect opinion……
JAKARTA â€” Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir told a court Thursday that Muslims have a religious duty to take up arms against non-believers, as he offered his first defence against terrorism charges. Â (AFP)
JAKARTA â€” Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir told a court Thursday that Muslims have a religious duty to take up arms against non-believers, as he offered his first defence against terrorism charges.
The cleric who is regarded as a spiritual leader of Islamist militants around the region is accused of leading an Al-Qaeda-style militant group that was discovered training recruits in Aceh province last year.
Police jostled with about 200 of the frail 72-year-old’s radical supporters as he arrived under tight guard amid shouts of “Allahu akbar” (God is greater).
Wearing his usual white robes, skull cap and shawl, the preacher smiled and looked calm as he was escorted through the crowd by members of the elite Detachment 88 anti-terror police squad.
“I am convinced that based on Islamic sharia (law), the physical and weapons training in a mountainous area in Aceh was an act of worship by Muslims as ordered by God to deter Muslim enemies,” he said, reading from a 90-page defence document.
“This exercise is equally as important as prayer, fasting… but this holy task has been insulted by God’s enemies, the Detachment 88, by accusing them of being terrorists.”
Bashir could face the death penalty if convicted of the charges including leading and financing a terrorist group, and supplying illegal weapons.
The cleric is an alleged co-founder of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror organisation blamed for multiple attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, mainly Western tourists.
The Islamic teacher, whose former students read like a who’s-who of Indonesian extremism, served almost 26 months behind bars for the Bali bombings but his conviction was overturned after his release in 2006.
Prosecutors have also unsuccessfully charged him with involvement in church bombings in 2000 and the Marriott hotel attack in Jakarta in 2003.
Two years after his release from prison Bashir founded Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid to continue agitating for sharia law and holy war against perceived threats to Muslims everywhere.
Police say JAT was a front for a new campaign of terrorism in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority state.
Indonesia jails Muslim radical over Christian attack
“Outbreak of Interfaith Violence”
(That’s a new one. ‘Interfaith violence’- something to remember….)
BEKASI, Thursday 24 February 2011 (AFP) – An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed the leader of an Islamic vigilante group over an attack on senior Christians, as the country grapples with an outbreak of interfaith violence. Â (source)
Murhali Barda, head of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in Bekasi, a city to the east of Jakarta, was convicted of “unpleasant deeds” in an attack on a priest and a Christian elder last September.
Sentencing Barda to five-and-a-half months in prison, Judge Wasdi Permana said he had “misused his authority as a cleric. He had urged protesters to disrupt the church’s worship activities.”
Separately, 12 others were jailed for between five and seven months over the attack, in which one of the Christians was beaten with a stick and the other was stabbed.
Two hundred radical Muslims shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greater) and “Free Murhali” outside the court as 350 police officers guarded the trial.
Barda rejected the court’s finding and vowed to appeal.
“I should have been freed. The accusations were all wrong,” he said after the trial.
Barda has previously said he had taken part in protests against Christian church services as a Bekasi resident, not as a member of FPI, which is known to have carried out armed attacks on moderates and minorities.
The FPI does not formally advocate mass attacks, but does share the jihadists’ agenda of implementing sharia law in Indonesia.
Some members have been arrested in connection with terror plots but the group has always maintained they were acting on their own.
Religious violence has been on the rise in Indonesia in recent months, mainly by Muslims, who make up around 80 percent of the country’s 240 million people, against minority groups.
An Islamist mob beat and stoned to death three members of a Muslim minority sect in West Java this month.
Two days later another mob of enraged Muslims rampaged through the streets of Temanggung, Central Java, and set fire to churches after a Christian man was jailed for insulting Islam.