It looks like Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab’s supporters are ready to defy the country’s biggest mainstream Islamic organizations by holding a protest to defend the scandal-hit hardliner.
Rizieq, who is said to currently be in Saudi Arabia to avoid the police investigation into his pornography scandal, was officially named a fugitive by the police today. However, his return to Indonesia might be imminent, according to a tweet from FPI’s paramilitary wing Laskar Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Army) today:
— Laskar Pembela Islam (@DPP_LPI) May 30, 2017
“This week, God willing Habib (an honorific title for a respected Islamic leader that Rizieq gave himself – ed) will return to Indonesia. Please pray for him.
The tweet is believed to be an update to a previous tweet by the group last week, which calls for Rizieq’s supporters to come out en masse to guard his return to Indonesia from police arrest.
— Laskar Pembela Islam (@DPP_LPI) May 24, 2017
“Come and welcome the arrival of Indonesian Muslims’ Grand Imam, Habib Rizieq Shihab and his family at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng, Jakarta. Shut all roads going towards the terminal. Don’t give the chance to anyone who wants to disturb his arrival. Wait for the date, it will be announced nationally.
However, the Islamic Defenders Army’s tweet contradicts a statement by one of Rizieq’s lawyers, Eggi Sudjana, who told Detik last night that Rizieq has no plans to return yet as he believes that the pornography case against him was engineered by government forces.
Today, Eggi added that, despite Rizieq’s fugitive status and the possibility that Interpol could be after him, there are three countries that are willing to provide political asylum to Rizieq. He did not specify what the countries were.
To find out the full story about Rizieq’s pornography case, be sure to read our detailed coverage of the latest developments: