Preacher declares war on pluralism

Jakarta Post: Preacher Ja’far Umar Thalib whose followers have been linked to alleged religion-based conflict, told Muslims in a Yogyakarta mosque on Sunday evening to declare war on pluralism.

Speaking at a tablig (gathering) entitled Muslims Unite for Developed Indonesia at Masjid Gedhe grand mosque in Kauman, Ja’far lambasted pluralism because it taught that all religions were equally right.

“This is a statement of war against Muslims because it’s an apostasy of Muslims,” Ja’far told the congregation of about 2,000 people.

He said it was obligatory for Muslims to oppose pluralism because of the potential for conflict.

“There is no tolerance when religion is degraded,” said the former commander of Laskar Jihad Ahlussunah Wal Jamaah, whose members were reportedly involved in bloody conflicts in Ambon in early 2000.

The event was jointly organized by the Yogyakarta Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) and Muslim Green Zone.

The mosque’s imam, Budi Setiawan, said that previously the tablig was titled Umat Islam Bersatu Melawan Pluralisme (Muslims Unite to Fight Against Pluralism) but he had asked the organizing committee to change it to make it less contentious.

Budi said he had received complaints about the title after the invitation for the tablig went viral on social media.

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