Indonesian Theocrats Unlikely to Win Sharia

Abu Bakar Bashir might be the “Teflon teacher.” Since the 1970s, he has preached Islamic theocracy in Indonesia, and lived 13 years in exile to avoid a jail sentence for his beliefs under the secular dictator Suharto. Even in Indonesia’s new, more liberal political climate, he has been hauled before Indonesian courts for involvement in bomb attacks on churches, the 2002 Bali bombings, a Jakarta attack, and for being the spiritual leader of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). But the charges haven’t really stuck. Prosecutors have had limited success linking him with JI, convicting him only of being part […]

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