The radical Muslim supporters of Habib Rizieq Shihab, the leader of Indonesia’s biggest anti-vice organisation Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), have now posted four different versions of a video where they can be seen replacing some words of the Islamic call to prayer (Azan) to call for Jihad. According to scmp.com, a verse of the chant, which originally means “hurry to the prayer”, has been changed to “hayya alal jihad”, or “rise up for jihad”.
Reportedly, the videos replacing this verse called for Musims to ‘rise up for Jihad’ followed, by Allahu Akbar chants. Also, in one of the videos, radical Muslims were seen wielding swords.
These videos were posted on Twitter with the caption, “Calls to jihad will be heard from mosques, Islamic boarding schools, and other Muslim communities if Rizieq Shihab continues to be criminalised”.
Jika azan jihad sudah mulai di kumandangkan di beberapa daerah di Indonesia, siapa yg mau di salahkan?? pic.twitter.com/PwFq677KSc— Fahmi Alkatiri (@FKadrun) November 29, 2020
The FPI has, however, denied their involvement in making these videos and claimed that it was made by some of their supporters since they are miffed over the treatment of their leader, radical cleric Habib Rizieq Shihab by the Indonesian government. “I think [the call for jihad] is normal because people see the unfair treatments on Muslim clerics who are opposing the government,” Aziz Yanuar, the FPI’s deputy general secretary, was quoted by local news portal Detik as saying on Monday.
Rizieq was in a ‘self-imposed’ exile in Saudi Arabia and has reportedly recently returned to Indonesia. He had recently staged massive gatherings in Jakarta to commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammed and protest against the government and was going to be interrogated by the Jakarta police.
According to scmp.com, Rizieq did not appear for police questioning. Before the summoning, authorities had imposed a fine of $3,500, drawing public anger from citizens who viewed the move as being too lenient towards the Islamic cleric. The government had later decided to take a tough stand against those who break Coronavirus protocol, regardless of their position.
Reportedly, several Muslim groups of Indonesia have also demanded an investigation and action after the call to prayer was altered by the followers of Rizieq.
Rizieq returned to Indonesia after the National Police dropped a charge against him in connection with a pornography case in 2018, but Rizieq, who had originally travelled to Saudi Arabia for religious purposes, decided to stay.
The charge centred around a WhatsApp chat between Rizieq and a female supporter that include naked images of the woman – a crime under Indonesia’s anti-pornography law. Interestingly, while Rizieq was accused of sending lewd pictures, he campaigns for the implementation of Sharia law in Indonesia and his group has been accused in several cases of harassment of minorities in Indonesia.