He is only telling it like it is: Indonesian leaders rip firebrand cleric’s speech

Ja’far Umar Thalib speaking at the mosque

Ja’far Umar Thalib, founder of the now dissolved Laskar Jihad (LJ) paramilitary group, faces widespread criticism for his hate-mongering speech at Yogyakarta’s Grand Mosque on June 8th.

Ja’far told a crowd assembled for a Tabligh Akhbar (mass religious gathering) at Yogyakarta’s oldest mosque that Islam was “a religion of war.” 

He called on Muslims to wage jihad against “infidels” and pluralism, also in his speech denigrating a claim all religions are equal as “wrong.”

“Muslims should be against pluralism. I do not fear the Sultan,” said Ja’far, referring to Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, governor of Yogyakarta and a symbol of its tolerant culture and religious climate.

Some of Indonesia’s most prominent Muslim leaders and other high-profile commentators have since condemned the radical preacher’s speech as a rhetorical attempt to tear apart the fabric of the country’s unity and religious pluralism…