“FPI is all about being loud and creating divisions and creating shows,” Wilson said. “This is how they managed to exceed their weight.”
In his sermons, often steeped in humor, foul language and venomous tirades, Mr. Rizieq argues that Indonesia should be united under one God and that, since Muslims are the overwhelming majority, they should have the power to set rules for minority groups. and apply Sharia law.
Since his return, Mr. Rizieq has organized half a dozen large, crowded events, including the wedding, and pledged to visit every province in Indonesia in their campaign for a “moral revolution.” In response, Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo of the Indonesian military, who heads the national coronavirus task force, called on local officials to ban any event that draws crowds in violation of health protocols.
Mr Rizieq has twice avoided mandatory government testing, at one point taking refuge in a private Islamic hospital. The FPI says its own test was negative. But authorities said at least 100 people who witnessed his recent events tested positive for the coronavirus.
The health risks and warnings did not seem to deter Mr. Rizieq.
Some of his recent inflammatory remarks again allude to violence. During an event in East Jakarta, he warned that beheadings like the vicious murder of a schoolteacher in France could take place in Indonesia if police do not prosecute accused blasphemers.
“If they are not investigated, don’t blame Muslims if their heads are found in the streets tomorrow,” he said as his audience cheered.
In another event, he accused Joko and his government of leading the country into crisis because the leadership lacked moral character. In his view, being a legal person means following Sharia law.