Lifestyle & Belief

Indonesia: a Valentine's wish for Islamic vigilantes


An Indonesian protester holds a banner reading 'A Valentine's Day present for Habib Rizieq' and a pig doll during a demonstration against the hardline Muslim group Front Pembela Indonesia (FPI) or the Islamic Defenders Front in Jakarta on February 14, 2012. Some 200 Indonesians converged on a Jakarta square on February 14 to denounce the Islamic vigilante group known for its armed attacks on minorities and moderates.



Indonesians frustrated with Jakarta's band of piety-enforcing vigilantes -- the Islamic Defenders Front -- is provoking the group with sweet, sweet love.

Most people would welcome Valentine's Day wishes.

But not Habib Rizieq, the vigilante group's chief. If Rizieq is like other outspoken, fundamentalist Muslim leaders in Indonesia, he's no fan of the holiday and its potential to rouse illicit male-female coupling.

That's why the guy in this photo -- and about many others -- marched through Indonesia's capital shouting out highly sarcastic Valentine's salutations to Rizieq this week.

The stunt didn't go so well, according to the Jakarta Post: one of the organizers was smacked around by a man enraged by the protest.

Backlash to the vigilante group appears to be growing, writes Sara Schonhardt in this Global Post piece