RealNews

Militant Cleric on Trial for Nightspot Raids

Militant cleric Habib Rizieq Shihab was on trial yesterday for ordering his followers to attack nightspots in the capital as part of his religious battle against vice. Shihab, who heads the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), was also charged with inciting hatred against the government. The cleric denied all charges yesterday and instead called the prosecutors ‘conscienceless’ for turning his religious cause into a crime. In a tightly guarded court packed with more than 100 white-clad supporters, prosecutors said Shihab had publicly and in writing called on his followers to engage in acts of destruction against places that exuded depravity. Chief prosecutor Hasan Basri cited a series of instances when these acts took place: On May 5, 2000, Shihab issued written instructions to his followers calling for the destruction of ‘sinful’ advertisement signs and places that he said harboured prostitution, drugs abusers and gamblers. Full Story

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