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Saddam underdog hero in Indonesia JAKARTA - Saddam Hussein has gained a place on the streets of Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population.
The Iraqi leader has become somewhat of an underdog hero for many Muslims around the world. Even struggling artists are making a living selling his picture. "As a humanist, I support Saddam. Just like many oppressed people support Saddam. The point is President Bush completely underestimated him," says Djidjit Kadito, an artist.
The Muslim world has been vocal regarding the war in Iraq. Most of the anger is directed at U.S. President George W. Bush. And street protests are helping to raise the status of Saddam Hussein. On the crudely drawn placards of Indonesian protesters, the Iraqi dictator is: "The Hero of the World" and "The King of Kings."
But why would the Islamic world even consider embracing a man with a history of murdering his own people, most of them Muslim? Part of the answer is found at Friday prayer in Indonesia. In their sermons, Muslim clerics denounce the war in Iraq as a war against Islam. In their view, the United States is the aggressor and Saddam Hussein is a Muslim victim.
As the faithful file out, they buy newspapers selling Saddam versus Bush and pens featuring Saddam's picture. Given a choice between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein, Muslims are choosing the Iraqi leader. Syahrul Arief, makes his money selling Saddam Hussein T-shirts. "Even though Saddam Hussein is a Muslim, he does not have a good track record with Muslims," says the vendor. "But he has become a symbol of resistance against oppression."
While many Indonesians remain wary of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader is considered by many Muslims in Indonesia to be the lesser of two evils and the victim of an unjust war.



Posted in Oddly enough ... @ 04 April 2003 00:04 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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