RealNews

Militant Islamic Congress Is Sparsely Attended in Indonesia

Menacing looking young men with their heads wrapped in Arabic scarves guarded the foot of an outdoor stage and others guided guests to their seats for the opening of a militant Islamic congress here in central Java today. The meeting of a group founded by the country’s best-known Islamic militant, Abu Bakar Bashir, was supposed to show that the radical Islamic movement was very much alive despite the fact that Mr. Bashir is now on trial on treason charges. Mainstream politicians, including Vice President Hamza Haz, have embraced Mr. Bashir in the past. But only a relatively small crowd of several thousand turned up, leading the organizers to hold the ceremony under tarpaulins outside the walls of the city stadium, instead of inside the arena. Full Story

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