23 July 2009
The CIA Did It -- Abu Bakar Ba'asyir Speaks!
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir is never one for a dull moment. Some might like to describe the man as a radical or fundamentalist Muslim committed to the creation of a pan-Asian Caliphate at just about any cost, including providing support for terrorism. I certainly believe that the man is pro-terror, particularly where people are not prepared to accept what he says or come around to his way of thinking or world view.
However, he is also a bit of a conspiracy theorist it seems, and true to form he has determined that the most recent bombings at the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta were the work of the CIA. This is not the first time that the Head of the Jemaah Ashorut Tauhid, which is a rather loose coalition of Islamic groups keen to see a more universal adoption and implementation of Syariah Law, has blamed the CIA for bombings perpetrated in Indonesia.
In the aftermath of the Bali Bombings in 2002, in which he himself was implicated, he maintained that the bombings were not the work of Islam but of the CIA that was looking to discredit Islam. The claim was that based on the devastation at the Paddy Club in Bali that the bomb was a micro-nuclear device and that it was launched from a US warship off the coast of Bali.
By his own admission, Ba'asyir knows nothing about bombs or how to make them, but in his mind the only thing that makes sense is that the CIA has carried out the bombings as a means of sowing hate against Islam. The idea that Ba'asyir knows nothing is, at best, disingenuous.
Ba'asyir also addressed the issue of Jemaah Islamiyah and the belief that it has splintered into two factions. According to Ba'asyir the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid is not a splinter group of Jemaah Islamiyah or of the Indonesian Mujahideen Council (Majelis Mujahideen Indonesia / MMI). As far as Ba'asyir knows, Jemaah Islamiyah is an Egyptian Muslim study group.
Never one to miss an opportunity, Ba'asyir added that the US and Australia will never defeat Islam and in fact they fear us ("us" I am guessing is Islam). He cites the fear that the US and Australia have of al-Qaeda, which he calls a small group. By my reckoning neither the US and Australia are trying to defeat Islam or make it subservient to some Western Christian ideal.
From a religious perspective Ba'asyir condemned the bombings as not being in accordance with Islam. The not in accordance with Islam part relies on the fact that there has been no formal declaration of war. To bomb "targets" without a formal declaration of war contravenes Islamic or Syariah law principles. Further, he goes on to say that the killing of innocent women and children is wrong even if these women and children are kafir.
However, this is moderated by "if they get involved, even in thought, then they must be killed". There does not seem to be any leeway on that front, and the idea that a mere thought is enough to warrant a killing opens the door to many killings as the idea of a thought seems so very discretionary.
If Ba'asyir did not have any followers and his Al-Mukmin Islamic Boarding School did not have such a long track record of breeding willing and able terrorists, the man would be nothing more than a distraction. However, he succeeds on both these points and this makes him a particularly dangerous man. This is sad because he so does not represent the majority of Indonesians or what Indonesia is about. There appears to be little doubt that there are quite a few Indonesians who wish that he stayed in exile in Malaysia.