Bashir Urges Peaceful Anti-Bush Protests

Indonesia's prominent scholar Abu Bakar Bashir called for peaceful protests against US President George W. Bush's planned visit to the world most populous country.

Bashir Urges Peaceful Anti-Bush Protests

"In principle, the Bush visit should be scuttled, but do it within your capabilities. If your capability is only to rally in protest then do that, but do not use anarchy," Bashir, who heads the Indonesian Mujahedin Council (MMI), told followers, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Speaking from his home in Sukoharjo, Central Java, Bashir said acts of anarchy and the use of violence in protesting Bush's visit would not help achieve their aims.

Bush launched a week-long Asia visit Thursday to promote US security and trade ties in the region.

He will visit Indonesia on November 20 on a brief stopover after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

"Bush is very good at pretending, his morals are low ... His visit is certainly prompted by personal or group interests," said Bashir.

Bush is due to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the summer palace in Bogor, located inside the Bogor Botanical Gardens, south of the capital.

Bashir is scheduled to be one of the key speakers during a massive anti-Bush rally in Solo, Central Java, on Friday, November 17.

But he would not be able to attend another massive rally by Muslim organizations in Bogor Sunday, November 19, over previous engagements.

The Muslim scholar called on MMI members and supporters to join the anti-Bush protests.

"Show that we cannot accept it if Bush comes, show who Bush really is."

Charm Offensive


Reiterating opposition to the visit, Bashir said it was only part of an American charm offensive.

"Bush is very good at pretending, his morals are low ... His visit is certainly prompted by personal or group interests," said Bashir.

The Muslim scholar said he had long called for Indonesia to sever diplomatic relations with the Bush regime because Bush "has killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims". Bush's Republican party lost control of the two houses of Congress for the first time in 12 during the recent mid-term elections, largely over popular dissatisfaction with the Iraq war.

An international poll in America's major allies has said on November 3, that voters see Bush as a great danger to world peace and that his policies have made the world less safe.

Bush's visit has been widely opposed in the Muslim country, with daily protests and rallies in various cities across most of the archipelago.

Muslim leaders have also threatened a no-confidence motion against Yudhoyono for hosting the visit.

Indonesia's media and opposition have blasted the government for the visit costly preparations.

Around 18,000 security personnel will be deployed during the trip and mobile phone networks will be disabled for several hours as part of the security clampdown.

The construction of a helipad in the historic Botanical Gardens, built in 1817, for Bush's plane would land has been vehemently criticized.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16