Why is the man not in prison?
Indonesians live in sin: Bashir
INDONESIAN Muslims are living in sin as long as they fail to implement Islamic law across the world's fourth largest nation, hardline cleric Abu Bakar Bashir said today.
"As long as we live in a secular state, Indonesian Muslims continue living in sin," the Muslim leader told some 200 participants attending a seminar on Islam and democracy.
Bashir heads the Indonesian Council of Mujahedin, an umbrella organisation advocating the implementation of Islamic or sharia law across Indonesia.
The Government permitted Aceh province to begin implementing Islamic law, and that was to pacify demands for independence. Some districts have also passed strict Islamic bylaws.
Bashir said that sharia was a non-negotiable matter and "we cannot act in a soft way in order to implement Islamic law".
"The Muslim community has an obligation to struggle to make a drastic change in support of Islamic law implementation," he said, without specifying how they should do this.
As long as the country did not adopt sharia, Muslims had to follow it in their personal lives, as well as in their groups, he added.
Bashir, 68, was released from jail in June last year after serving more than two years for his role in a "sinister conspiracy" that led to the Bali bombings of October 2002. The attacks left 202 people dead.
The Supreme Court in December overturned his conviction, to outrage from the families of the bombing victims.
More than 90 per cent of Indonesia's 232 million people are Muslims, but most follow a more moderate version of Islam.