Abu Bakar Bashir interview: Your comments

The recent interview published with Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir contained strongly worded opinions and has sparked equally strong comments from Aljazeera readers. Below is a representative selection of the comments we have received so far. Please continue to send them and

The interview with Abu Bakar Bashir has aroused strong views

Radicals are good or bad, depending on what side you are on.  My country has a famous radical, a terrorist if you will (ask any American about him, the will call him a “terrorist”).  He used the name Pancho Villa.  And he fought the fight that is still killing my country right now.  Radicals should be proud and true, no matter what anyone in any part of the world may say about them.

Jose Mexico

I am a practicing Muslim living in America. I am disappointed at the assertion of Abubakr about Jihad. The Messanger of God Almighty did not teach us to attack others. In fact quite the contrary, Jihad means to struggle within. He took the abuse of non-believers for 10 years before he migrated to Madina. He did not pick up arms to fight. The wars were imposed on Him and his people. They never killed innocent civilians why do Muslims have a trouble understanding the word Jihad as it is termed in the history of Holy Quran and Sunna (The way Prophet lived and tought). As far as I know Jihad can not be conducted unless it is authorized by a ruler under the commands of an army and only to defend or protect the oppressed and our faith. No one has so far forced Muslims to change their religion. Why can’t we define ourselves with our Islamic practices rather than our anger, frustration and reactionary words. We blame Zionist media for tarnishing our image to the innocent Americans, yet our leadership does not speak responsibly.

Najam, USA

This man should never have been allowed to return to his boarding-school, where he will indoctrinate his students with hate. Remember the terror bombing in Bali? Those terrorists were his students! Hate-mongers like this really makes me sad and it gives islam a bad name.

Karl, Denmark

I’m Roman Catholic and my version of Christianity had a time when its faithful did terrible things in the name of God.  These included torturing and killing people – the Inquisition gained a reputation for doing things like this.  I don’t believe God actually wanted what happened and that the faithful actually carried out sins in how they practiced their faith.  One of the things that happened is that the truth was suppressed.  Galileo was a scientist who pointed out that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the Sun around the Earth.  Though his statements managed to spread, the Inquisition for a time imprisoned him because they decided that his ideas went against the right religious understanding. It is quite possible that they would have killed him if he didn’t recant his ideas (which where true, as we know today) in front of them.  I think that Abu Bashir and people who follow him would probably end up doing terrible things to Muslim versions of Galileo if they had power or control. And in this way I think he would introduce sin through faith.

Nathaniel Ragatz, USA

ABB´s words remind so strongly on what nazi-leaders said, their hatred against all, who did not live like them,look like them, and believe what they did.Not only hatred, but the strong will to extinguish all that are different and by their definition inferior.

Johan, Austria

The principles which the muslims should follow are told to follow is forgotten. Hatred breeds hatred. Start educating and uniting yourselves .

Mohammed, Germany

While it is obvious to any student of world history, modern politics, and world religious diversity that Bashir is sadly misguided and holds onto a simplistic, outdated ideal of governing the human community, what upset me most about this article was the pandering questions posed by Farish Noor. Mr. Noor – if you aspire to be a world citizen, you should be pressing leaders such as Bashir on their ideas. Asking questions like how humans can be expected to live like cows under the militant, repressive, totalitarian regimes he is espousing.

Tim Nickles, USA

cleric abu bakar bashir is the kind of voice that needs to be heard! i wish that we could him to come to america and speak to these weak minded muslim leaders. muslim leaders here have become so weak that they are telling brothers and sisters to turn in any muslim that they hear talking about jihad or “terrorist acts”.

sayfud-deen, USA

How can a person with views so antiquated become so popular. Bashir is not probably wrong that Muslims need to be strong and show unity, but espousing jihad is like suicide. He is asking us to pick M16s. That is the huge problem, even the weapons for his jihad will have to come from the West. He cites Afghans, who no doubt are a tough people, yet were lavishly funded and armed by US and Saudis, who were actually fighting their own wars against Communism. How are Muslim countries to launch jihad; attack Israel, US and Britain. With Israel they have lost a number of wars, with US and Britain they cannot win and would instead destroy Muslims completely. Democracy in Muslim countries is a immediate need, but of course, it should be implemented by Muslims themselves. Only in a democratic Muslim world can common people progress in science and technology and be able to force their governments to secure the interests of the Muslims. A number of Bakar type people have emerged among the Muslims who take advantage of crimes committed against Muslims to indoctrinate brilliant young people into irrationality, who could instead have become a new generation of enlightened Muslim leaders.

Mohamad Junaid, India

Abu Bakar Bashir has a point, as many Moslems see the way that should be taken to resolve problems in Islamic world. For me, most of the contents of the interview are agreeable, but it’s just like presenting conversation between husband and wife to public, which could provoke neighbor(s). It might be hard to understand or to catch what they really meant, especially to those who are not Moslem and living in South-East Asia Region.

Danny Firdaus, Indonesia

All religions preach love, charity to the fellow man, as God commanded, but this lunatic preach bigotry, hate and mass killing.

Abudulha, England

Abu Bakar Bashir says being radical is not a bad thing. Well, depends what you mean with “radical”. Killing dozens of people with bombs like in Bali just because they do have other opinions than you is certainly “a bad thing”. Murder has nothing to do with changing things to the better. Abu Bakar Bashir wants to live in a world where everyone carries weapons – I don’t. The perfect world for him seems to be Afghanistan under the Taliban – he should have talked to people who were forced to live there. What we need is dialogue between Religions not clerics preaching hate and murder. People like Abu Bakar Bashir are as dangerous as George W Bush.

Mehmet, Germany

This is a brilliant article and I totally agree that Muslims will be stronger if they get closer to the real Islam.

Sameer Hussain, England

“The closest we ever got to an Islamic state was the Taliban government in Afghanistan” – does that mean that even they were not as pure as he wished?

Adrian, Australia

This is a declaration of war. A Muslim crusade with the goal of wiping out all other religions. It is totally unacceptable to any country that has freedom of religion.

Bruce Laube, USA

If a comparable religious leader in the US, such as Pat Robertson, perhaps, was allowed to speak so freely and at length in the US media, the US enthusiasm for destroying the enemies of Christ would die of embarrassment.

Chris Rushlau, USA

Abu Bakar Bashir states that the poor Afghans defeated the Soviets with the help of God alone. I guess he forgot the help of American Special Forces and American technology. He states that the Muslims would be better off without oil wealth, but does not advocate giving the oil away for free. He states that the Islamic world should shun all Western technology, but calls for Muslims to take up arms, specifically the M-16, an American made weapon.

Dan, USA

Dear Dr. Farish Noor,
Your interview with Cleric Abu Bakar Bashir is sad to read. At a time when the Islamic world is wrestling with the problem of living in the old or moving forward into the new world, and is thus in much upheaval, voices of reason are needed. Bashir is of the old guard. He is desperately grasping at the old ways and using any means to retain them, such as radical actions and violence. Such voices should be quashed by educated people, like yourself, and Aljazeera. If not, they find their way into the hearts of the common person, and breed hatred. Shame on you for perpetuating this evil. The Islamic world will only know peace when it grasps it from within; killing infidels will do nothing. Until then, you can blame Muslims’ problem on whomever you like, but the truth is that we have nobody to blame for our situations than ourselves.
Peace be with you,
A patient, hopeful world citizen

Name not given

Things like this only encourage the very crimes many non-Muslims such as myself are attempting to combat: hate attacks against Arabs and Islam in general


I must protest Abu Bakar Bashir referring to the US as God. We are for the most part very nice, pleasant and Godly people but definitely not God. He states that the Afghans defeated the Soviets with the help of God and God only. Since the U.S. financed and furnished arms to the Afghan fighters and we watched them defeat the Soviets on our TV sets, filmed by US camera crews travelling with them.

Mack Rogers, USA

Did the prophet ever teach forgiveness or respect or just hate for anyone who doesn’t think or act like the Cleric?  To give the Taliban as a positive example for a way of life is absurd.  Did the Cleric forget that it was America that supported the Afghan Muslims against the Soviets? If the Cleric wants to stop using US dollars, then please tell Iran and Hezbollah to stop passing them out in Lebanon.  Tell the Palestinian people that the reason why there government can’t pay their wages, is because America didn’t send the aid that they have been providing for many years.  If he wants, I’ll ask the USA to stop the $230 million in relief that we are sending to the Lebanese people.  I laugh at the very same freedoms that this man is using to brainwash others, is the same ideas he is against.  To me the only thing this man teaches is hate and intolerance towards others. We ALL, USA included, need to understand and respect each others way of life.  I’m not proud of everything America does, but I am proud of the many good things that America does for the entire world (Muslim’s included) every day.

Paul, USA

Abu Bakar and his message will bring nothing but death and destruction to Muslims and westerners . He must be jailed to protect the innocent but easily manipulated of all societies…

Sean, Australia

Source: Al Jazeera

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