Pence tours Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque, talks trade in Indonesia

Source: Reuters

By Roberta Rampton | JAKARTA

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence toured Southeast Asia’s largest mosque on Thursday during a visit to Indonesia, calling the Muslim-majority nation’s tradition of following a moderate form of Islam “an inspiration to the world”.

Pence, an evangelical Christian, has sought to use his trip to soften some of the harsher edges of rhetoric about the Muslim world used by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has frequently railed against “radical Islamic terrorism.”

As leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has voiced worries about Trump’s immigration policy, which critics say is biased against Muslims.

Pence, standing side by side with Widodo at a news conference, said: “One of the greatest threats we face is the rise and spread of terrorism,” though he did not refer to “radical Islam”.

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