FPI leader Rizieq seeking help from UN Human Rights Council for protection from pornography case: lawyer

FPI leader Rizieq Syihab during a sermon in which he claimed that the new Indonesian rupiah bills contain hidden communist symbols. Screengrab: FPI TV / Youtube
FPI leader Rizieq Syihab during a sermon in which he claimed that the new Indonesian rupiah bills contain hidden communist symbols. Screengrab: FPI TV / Youtube

The pornography case involving Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab has really picked up steam, with his alleged mistress Firza Husein officially being named a suspect by the police yesterday.

Rizieq, as we all know, has left the country ever since he was summoned by the police for questioning as a witness in the case, first to Saudi Arabia, then Malaysia, and then back to Saudi Arabia again, where he is now. When asked why Rizieq has been hopping between countries and avoiding police summons, one of his lawyers, Sugito Atmo Pawiro, said it is a form of “symbolic resistance” against what they have described as the criminalization of ulemas.

Well, it seems that Rizieq’s legal camp wants to take that resistance to a whole new level by figuratively asking for the world to help their cause.

“He (Rizieq) met with a commissioner from the UN Human Rights Council and the case will be investigated after Ramadan,” said another one of Rizieq’s lawyers, Kapitra Ampera, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.

The meeting apparently took place in Kuala Lumpur. Soon, Kapitra said, Rizieq will head to UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to talk about his supposed criminalization.

It is, of course, entirely possible that Rizieq and his lawyers are bluffing as there is no other evidence that any meeting with the UN took place.

Yet Rizieq’s camp publicly speaking about seeking help from the UN seems hypocritical, to say the least. After all, Rizieq and his political allies repeatedly warned against foreign intervention in former governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s blasphemy case and subsequent imprisonment.

And, let’s not forget, the FPI and other hardliners pushed for Ahok’s imprisonment because they believed that he blasphemed the Quranic verse Al Maidah 51, which warns Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as allies (sometimes translated as “leader” and used to convince Muslims not to elect non-Muslims for public office) in times of war (a condition that is often deliberately overlooked by those who use the verse for political gain).

So, based on their interpretation, doesn’t Rizieq realize that he’s going against Al Maidah 51 by seeking protection from the UN, a multi-national/cultural/theistic organization?

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