News24

Arms training is God's will - cleric

2011-02-24 10:17

Jakarta - Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir told a court on Thursday that Muslims have a religious duty to take up arms against non-believers, as he offered his first defence against terrorism charges.

The cleric who is regarded as a spiritual leader of Islamist militants around the region is accused of leading an al-Qaeda-style militant group that was discovered training recruits in Aceh province last year.

Police jostled with about 200 of the frail 72-year-old's radical supporters as he arrived under tight guard amid shouts of "Allahu akbar" (God is greater).

Wearing his usual white robes, skull cap and shawl, the preacher smiled and looked calm as he was escorted through the crowd by members of the elite Detachment 88 anti-terror police squad.

"I am convinced that based on Islamic sharia (law), the physical and weapons training in a mountainous area in Aceh was an act of worship by Muslims as ordered by God to deter Muslim enemies," he said, reading from a 90-page defence document.

"This exercise is equally as important as prayer, fasting... but this holy task has been insulted by God's enemies, the Detachment 88, by accusing them of being terrorists."

Students who's-who of extremism


Bashir could face the death penalty if convicted of the charges including leading and financing a terrorist group, and supplying illegal weapons.

The cleric is an alleged co-founder of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror organisation blamed for multiple attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, mainly Western tourists.

The Islamic teacher, whose former students read like a who's-who of Indonesian extremism, served almost 26 months behind bars for the Bali bombings but his conviction was overturned after his release in 2006.

Prosecutors have also unsuccessfully charged him with involvement in church bombings in 2000 and the Marriott hotel attack in Jakarta in 2003.

Two years after his release from prison Bashir founded Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) to continue agitating for sharia law and holy war against perceived threats to Muslims everywhere.

Police say JAT was a front for a new campaign of terrorism in the world's most populous Muslim-majority state.

Comments
  • lmduplessis - 2011-02-24 10:37

    Yet when normal ppl see "Threats everywhere" they're called paranoid and put in institutions.

  • shmangle - 2011-02-24 11:20

    Muslim radicals are frakkin insane!

  • Jaimo - 2011-02-24 11:21

    When is the civilized Free Word including Europe and the West going to realize that this is what the muslim Kuran teaches! before they allow thousands of Mosques to be built in their countries??! It is a violent demonic religion.

      Krush - 2011-02-24 11:24

      ..just look at how they treat their own women.

      Kenko - 2011-03-02 10:22

      They are bending over backwards in order to appease Muslims, yet they are still regarded as the enemy. You refuse them something and they declare you an enemy of their religion. There is no easy solution, and this will eventually lead to global war. Civilized countries should ban Islam NOW, while they still have some power.

  • cmr.insurance - 2011-02-24 11:41

    God made man and man maid religion. bends it to suit himself and forgets he has to go home on eday and be held accountable. all God regardless what you call him says and preaches is LOVE, makes you think where is all the hatered coming from.

  • lakhan7 - 2011-02-24 11:59

    "Abu Bakar Bashir told a court on Thursday that Muslims have a religious duty to take up arms against non-believers" maybe he was miss quoted? maybe, he said alms? ...hey, im a Hindu, i only know to live in peace with other nations and nationalities.

  • da0829974138 - 2011-02-24 12:05

    Hi all, I'm a muslim and our religion most certainly do not promote, teach or encourage this view. Please do not judge Islam by radicals that use the religion for their own personal/political views.

      WPWW - 2011-02-24 12:12

      I will judge it. its the only religion that allows such extremism to flourish, there is something wrong with that.

      KayZee - 2011-02-24 12:28

      Hi there, you may want to read what is actually written in the Quran before making statements like that. The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter. Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them" Quran (8:15) - "O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end." So it turns out that Abu Bakar Bashir is doing exactly what his religion requires of him. It is clearly stated in the Quran, which is the eternal, unchanging word of Allah.

      Douglas - 2011-02-24 13:04

      How do you explain the fact that, historically, Islam was predominantly spread by the sword?? It was a militant religion right from the word go. Equally as pertinent, how would you explain the following teachings from the Qur'an? "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." (Sura 2:191-193...so fight them until the world is Muslim?) “I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” (Quran 8:12) “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are ruthless to the Unbelievers, but merciful to each other.” (Sura 48:29) "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement" (Sura 5:33) Allah's Apostle said] "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him." (Bukhari 52:256)

      flaglesswanderer - 2011-02-24 14:04

      Isn't it funny how people make the funniest statements when they are being completely serious? I always thought the Christian bible to be a rather violent tome, you lot however make the worst of the old testament look like a kiddies story book by comparison.

      Kenko - 2011-03-02 10:29

      Hey Flagboy, which "you lot" and how? If you want to make yourself heard do it more to the point and say what you mean. And stick to the topic please.

  • WPWW - 2011-02-24 12:10

    This is why Islam needs to be eradicated from a modern world. Bunch of ignorant deluded idiots. And the liberal europeans are dishonouring their ancestors struggles against the virus of islam.

  • lakhan7 - 2011-02-24 12:28

    @da0829974138 and other peace loving Muslims : Begin your process for taking back your religion from radicals? Please begin the process asap. Have a 300 strong march against what them - the radicals. ( send the message worldwide - start the trend in Africa )

      Douglas - 2011-02-24 13:12

      Yes, indeed! As someone once said, not all Muslims are terrorists, but it cannot be denied that most terrorists today are Muslim. So, if Islam is so peaceful, why do we not see widespread Muslim protests at Al Qaeda's (and the many other fundamentalist offshoots) outright atrocities? Why is there such strong support for their ideologies?

      pop101 - 2011-02-24 19:34

      Good good...that's what the world want to hear and see. By keeping quiet when these terror attacks happen, we assume Muslims support it and are smiling in their hearts. There is never a unified Muslim or Islam (don't really know the difference)condemnation of these attacks and radical clerics / attackers.

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