Indonesian President Says Islamic State Extremists Humiliate, Embarrass Muslims

Declares West’s Perception of Islam and Islam’s View of the West Must Change

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Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said the actions of Islamic State (ISIS) militants are “embarrassing” to the Muslim religion and that their slaughters are “shocking” and “out of control.”

Urging religious leaders to join in combating extremism, President Yudhoyono said both the scale of the slaughters by extremists in Iraq and Syria and the level of violence being used there is appalling, reported Arab News.

A day after ISIS released a video showing a masked militant beheading US reporter James Foley, provoking worldwide revulsion, Yudhoyono said in an interview, “It is shocking. It is getting out of control.”

“We do not tolerate it, we forbid ISIS in Indonesia,” he said, referring to how IS was formerly known.

“Indonesia is not an Islamic state,» he added, «We respect all religions.” 

Urging international leaders to work together to combat radicalization, the President said, “This is a new wake-up call to international leaders all over the world, including Islamic leaders,” that the actions of ISIS are not only “embarrassing” to Islam but “humiliating.”

After calling on all leaders must review how to combat extremism, he said, “Changing paradigms on both sides are needed — how the West perceives Islam and how Islam perceives the West.”

Home to the world’s biggest Muslim population of about 225 million, Indonesia has long struggled with terrorism. In recent years, however, efforts to clampdown have been successful in bringing an end of major deadly attacks.

Concerned for the estimated dozens of Indonesians who have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight, the nation’s President has tasked agencies to oppose the spread of extremist ideology in the sprawling nation.

“Our citizens here in Indonesia are picking up recruitment messages from ISIS containing extremist ideas,” said Yudhoyono.

“The philosophy of ISIS,» he underscored, «stands against the fundamental values we embrace in Indonesia. Last Friday, in my state of the union address to the nation, I called on all Indonesians to reject ISIS and to stop the spread of its radical ideology.”

The president, whose decade in office comes to an end in October, added that his government and security agencies have “taken decisive steps to curtail the spread of ISIS in Indonesia,” including by “prohibiting Indonesians to join ISIS or to fight for ISIS, and also by blocking Internet sites that promote this idea.”

Indonesia’s neighbor Australia has also seen up to 150 of its nationals join the militants, notably after the photo of an Australian boy holding a severed head in Syria last week sparking global condemnation.

On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said ISIS was “as close to pure evil as we’re ever likely to find” and what happened to Foley was “sickening.”

In addition, he said he was concerned that jailed Indonesian militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir had pledged allegiance to ISIS, saying this poses the “potential for increased terrorist activity in our region.”

Bashir is the chief ideologue of regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for the Bali bombings in 2002 that claimed 88 Australian lives. The vocal supporter of Al-Qaeda style jihad has been in and out of prison for years and is currently serving a 15-year term for funding terrorism.

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