Indonesian Muslim group protests Obama visit

March 17, 2010 15:57

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims demonstrated on Sunday against US President Barack Obama’s planned visit to their country.

via RFI

A member of Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia wears a mask of Obama in Surabaya

About 2,000 protesters from the hardline Muslim group Hizbut Tahrir, which aims to establish a Muslim caliphate, shouted “Islam united will not be defeated! Reject Obama!” and tore printouts of the American flag in Makassar, the capital of  South Sulawesi province.

In Solo, in central Java, 500 Hizbut Tahrir supporters carried posters saying “Expel Obama, leader of coloniser!” and “America, the real terrorist!”.

Organisers declared that the fact that Obama lived in Indonesia as a child is no reason not to oppose him, although he is generally popular in the country.

The trip, which also includes stops in Guam and Australia, was postponed because of Obama’s problems in pushing through healthcare reform at home. He is now scheduled to leave the United States on 21 March.

Obama will seek to use his visit to Indonesia to build on a speech he gave last year to the Islamic world from Cairo urging improved ties with the US, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said last week.

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