Rizieq Shihab may be the most controversial public figure in Indonesia today. Admired by many, reviled by others, the Great Imam of a leading hardline Muslim organization is wanted for pornography.
Mr. Rizieq heads an organization no less controversial than he: the Islamic Defenders Front (in Bahasa, Front Pembela Islam, or F.P.I.), which is best known for promoting the application of Shariah throughout Indonesia, sometimes with hate speech. He rides around in a Jeep Rubicon, wearing all-white robes, his left hand on a microphone, his right index finger pointing to the sky. He sermonizes in a deep, strident voice and leads demonstrations, often violent, against bars and clubs and other places he calls “immoral.”
Early this year, he also led massive protests against the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, claiming, among other things, that non-Muslims can’t lead Muslims.… Seguir leyendo »