Responding to a wave of anti-FPI (Islam Defenders Front) rallies, including in Central Kalimantan and Jakarta, the FPI said it would hold a counter-rally in Surakarta, Central Java, on Thursday as a response to the scheduled visit of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the city.
“Today, the FPI and its Solo laskar [warriors] will stage a rally to defy SBY's visit in Surakarta,” FPI spokesman Munarman said in a statement, as quoted by tempo.co.
The rally goers, carrying a banner that read, “FPI Elegan-SBY Arogan" (Elegant FPI-Arrogant SBY), will gather at Baitusalam Tipes mosque after the midday prayer.
According to Munarman, the rally was meant to uphold Izzul Islam Wal Muslimin or the glory of Islam and its believers.
Earlier on Tuesday, the President told the FPI to find time for introspection following the anti-FPI rally in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.
“Our brothers in the FPI should ask themselves why other organizations are allowed to be established there while they are rejected?” Yudhoyono said.
Yudhoyono is scheduled to officiate the ASEAN Law Association general assembly in Nusa Dua, Bali, in the morning and depart for Surakarta and Sragen, Central Java, to attend rice harvesting events there later in the day.