Abu Bakar Bashir is an Indonesian Muslim cleric popular as the leader of the Indonesian Mujahedeen counsel.Read on to know more about Abu Bakar Bashir’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.
Abu Bakar Bashir alias Ustad Abu (Teacher Abu) is an Indonesian Muslim cleric popular as the leader of the Indonesian Mujahedeen counsel. He now runs a school, the Al-Mukmin boarding school in Central Java. Described as the ideological godfather of JemmahIslamiyah, a militant organization, however, there is no enough evidence to support this argument.
Early Life & Career
Abu Bakar Bashir was born on 17 August 1938 in Jombang, East Java. He was sent to GontorIslamis boarding School in Ponorogo, where he completed his graduation in 1963. He then attended the Al-Irsyad University in Solo, Central Java. It was during this time that he was elected secretary of Al-Irsyad Youth Organization. He then went on to become the president of Indonesian Islamic Youth Movement and Indonesian Student Da’wah Organization in 1961.
Bashir, along with his friends Abdul Qohar H. Daeng,Matase, AbdllahBaraja, Yoyo Roswadi and Abdullah Sunkar, co-founded a boarding school, Al-Mukmin in Central Java. The increasing interest in religious discussions in Al-Mukmin led to expansion of Al-Mukmin to madrasah (Islamic school) and Pesanteren (Islamic boarding school).
With the passage of time, Bashir faced many allegations of keeping connections with various militant and terrorist organizations. He was arrested actively supporting Sharia, non-recognition of Indonesian national ideology. He was also accused of not saluting the national flag of Indonesia and thus disrespecting Indonesian State and its authority, for which he was imprisoned without trial. In 1982, soon after his release he was again accused of being part of the bomb attack on the Buddhist monument Borobudur. He fled to Malaysia to escape the arrest. He was also liked with the 2000 Christmas Bombings that took place in Indonesia, killing 18 people. Bashir was arrested on 15 October 2004, charged with involvement in the Marriott Hotel bomb attack, taking lives of 14 innocent people. In 2010 he was convicted for supporting a jihadi training camp, following which, he faced a 15-year imprisonment.
Crimes and Punishment
Bashir was arrested when President of Indonesia, Suharto’s introduced the ideology of ‘Pancasila’ (promotes the plurality of religions) and the former refused to discontinue the practice of ‘Sharia’ (the moral code of Islam). He was imprisoned on the grounds of non-adherence to ‘Pancasila’. Besides, the school which was established by Bashir and his childhood friend Sungkar, taught Islamic principles and refused to salute the Indonesian flag. Also, Bashir was completely against the idea of Indonesia practicing secularism. For all these reasons he was imprisoned without trial from 1978 to 1982. Later, after his release, Bashir was alleged to be involved in the bomb attack on the Buddhist monument Borobudur 1985. However he escaped to Malaysia where, during the exile, he conducted religious teachings of Islam. Meanwhile, the United States government came up with suspicion that Bashir might have links with the militant Islamist group ‘Jamaah Islamiyah’. Bashir did not show up until the fall of President Suharto, in 1998.
In 2003 Bashir was charged by the Indonesian government with treason, immigration violations and presenting false documents and statements to the Indonesian police. On October 2004, he was arrested for involvement in the bomb attacks on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. On March 3, 2005, he was found guilty of the conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombing, which killed 202 people. Though he was sentenced to a two and half years of imprisonment, he was released on August 17, 2005, the Indonesian Independence Day, as a part of the tradition of remissions.
Evidences of Bashir supporting a ‘jihadi’ training camp were found on 16 June, 2011 and he was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.
Bashir has two sons Abdul Roshid Ridyo Bashir and Abdul Rahim Bashir.
1938: Bashir was born on August 17.
1959: He completed his graduation from Gontor Islamic boarding school in Jombang.
1972: He founded the ‘Al-Mukmin’ boarding school in Ngruki, Central Java.
1983: Bashir and his friend Sungkar were arrested for not following ‘Pancasila’.
1999: He returned to Indonesia after an exile in Malaysia.
2002: The United States government asks Indonesia to turn over Bashir.
2003: He was charged with treason.
2004: Bashir was arrested for involvement in the Marriott Hotel bombings. He was also convicted of conspiracy in the 2002 terrorist attacks in Bali and Jakarta.
2005: He was released on August 17, on Indonesian Independence Day.
2011: He was convicted of supporting a ‘Jihadi’ training camp and was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.