JAKARTA (Reuters) - About a hundred Indonesians from a hardline Muslim group rallied outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta on Friday, some criticising U.S. President Barack Obama over suspected U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan.
“Obama has promised maintaining a mutual respect with the Muslim world but the position that the U.S. shows when it attacks Pakistan and Afghanistan means it has not changed,” said Heru Binawan, head of the Jakarta branch of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia.
While there is a radical fringe, most Indonesian Muslims follow a moderate form of Islam. There is also a lot of pride in Indonesia over the four years Obama spent in Jakarta as child.
The suspected U.S. missiles were fired into Pakistan last week, killing at least 14 people. It was the first strike since Obama took office.
Some of the protesters from the Muslim group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia also held banners saying “Obama is similar to Bush”.
Indonesia has been a key ally in the U.S.-led “war on terror” and looks to America for trade and investment. But many of President George W. Bush’s policies, especially in the Middle East, have been unpopular in the predominantly Muslim nation.
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