Thursday, June 21, 2007

Can Dhani Dewa Rock the Casbah?

by Jason Tedjasukmana from TIME

"Islam in Indonesia has the potential to go extreme," says the rock star, who quit a religious school as a child because of its intolerant Wahhabi teachings. "What happens depends on how we deal with the radicals and teach people about Islam." Ahmad Dhani may, however, struggle to cast himself as a champion of those seeking a more progressive interpretation of Islam. Muslim academics and students question his credibility to pronounce on religious matters. "The fact that he is a Sufi is already going to be controversial with most Indonesian Muslims," explains Hamid Basyaib, director of the Liberal Islam Network. "We appreciate his message, but don't think mixing art and preaching will work, because it hasn't in the past."

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