The Jakarta Post
Bandung-based preacher Abdullah “Aa Gym” Gymnastiar delivered a sermon during Idul Fitri morning prayers on Friday at the Istiqlal Mosque, the country’s biggest mosque, in Central Jakarta.
Aa Gym is known as a proponent of the 212 rally, a religiously-driven mass protest staged in December 2016 demanding the prosecution of then-Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, which eventually led to the victory of current Governor Anies Baswedan in the 2017 gubernatorial election.
The prayers in Istiqlal were attended by Anies and Zulkifli Hasan, the People's Consultative Assembly speaker and National Mandate Party (PAN) politician. Many of the PAN's elite were also known to have supported the 212 rally.
Aa Gym’s 15-minute long sermon highlighted the danger of corruption, which he described as against the teachings of Islam on leading a honest and humble life.
“A person who continues to steal is doomed to failure in life if [the person] does not atone,” Aa Gym said as quoted by kompas.com.
His name, however, was included on the Religious Affairs Ministry’s list of 200 Islamic preachers that are deemed moderate, which was issued last month.
Aa Gym once was also a popular cleric before his popularity plummeted following the announcement that he had taken a second wife in 2006, which sparked a national debate on polygamy.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla was also among the participants at Istiqlal. (gis/ipa)