Indonesia Islamic group rallies to demand alcohol ban

January 12, 2012 11:04


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JAKARTA - Hundreds of members of Indonesia's Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) rallied in the capital on Thursday to press the government to ban alcohol as part of its drive to turn the fourth largest country in the world into an Islamic state.

Indonesia is a secular state with the world's biggest population of Muslims, most of whom are moderate.

The FPI protest group has in recent years raided bars, nightclubs and the office of Indonesia's Playboy magazine, though it has had limited success in achieving its central aims.

It is separate from a series of small, banned militant groups, some of which are affiliated with al-Qaida and have carried out bomb attacks. An attack on nightclubs in Bali in 2002 killed more than 200 people.

The FPI on Thursday protested against a plan by the interior ministry to revoke anti-alcohol bylaws in several areas of Indonesia on the grounds that the laws were in violation of Islamic sharia law.

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