Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Kiai Haj Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia s most renowned Muslim leader, better known as Gus Dur, has issued a strong appeal to the extremist group, Islamic Defender Front, to stop all hostilities against Christians in Indonesia . Gus Dur was once president of the nation and he is currently president of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia which boasts more than 40 million members.
During a press conference he warned that he would not hesitate to send youth of the Barisan Serba Guna (a paramilitary section of the NU) to Bandung , the capital of West Java , to help Christians defend themselves against extremist attacks. The appeal of Gus Dur comes after a series of 23 attacks against Protestant churches perpetrated by the Islamic Defender Front in recent months. I strongly urge FPI leaders and its members to consider seriously my warning. I want this message clearly understood, that you have made two serious mistakes by closing churches and by attacking the Ahmadiyah (an Islamic sect held to be heretical by extremists.