Following President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s criticism of the Islamic Defenders Front’s fatal raid on a Central Java brothel last week, the chief of the hard-line organization has called the president a ‘loser’ while denying that his group committed any wrongdoing.
Habib Rizieq Syihab, the head of the group known as the FPI, on Monday said that none of its members were armed when it conducted a “peaceful monitoring” of an alleged brothel in the Central Java town of Kendal. The raid led to a violent confrontation with hundreds of local residents and a woman being killed on her motorcycle.
“The FPI was not playing judge. We came to the [Kendal Police] and asked that the prostitution parlor be shut, especially since it’s Ramadan now,” Rizieq said in a statement.
“In Kendal, the FPI was the victim and not the perpetrator. It was the FPI who was victimized by hundreds of armed thugs at the brothel.
“It’s a pity. SBY appears to be … a mere loser who likes spreading lies and being silent about sinful activities. Not to mention, he’s been protecting the Ahmadiyah and [individuals involved in] various corruption scandals. This Muslim president is a disgrace to Islamic teachings,” Rizieq’s statement said.
Rizieq further accused Yudhoyono of buying into biased media reports that Rizieq claimed failed to accurately depict what happened during the Kendal clash.
In response to the events in Kendal, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Sunday said he would not tolerate the acts of violence that occurred on Thursday.
“My position is very clear — we will not give any form of tolerance,” the president said in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Sunday. “This has to be prevented so that no other entities, including the FPI [do this].”
Police said seven people — three FPI members and four local residents — have been named suspects in the case surrounding the incident.
One of the FPI-affiliated suspects, Soni Haryono, was reportedly the driver of the Toyota Avanza minivan that struck a motorcycle carrying Tri Munarti and her husband, Yulianto. Tri was killed, while Yulianto survived.
The two others — identified as Satria Yuwono and Bayu Agung Wicaksono, were found carrying sharp weapons when they were arrested shortly after the incident.
The FPI has denied that Soni is a member of the group and claimed that he was only a hired driver.
“The perpetrators who hit the dead victim are still being detained, but we are also investigating locals who committed acts of violence [against FPI members],” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie said in Jakarta on Monday.
At least two FPI members were reportedly beaten by the angry mob, while several cars being used by the group were torched at the scene.