Indonesian military leaders aren't known for their fan bases. But the baby-faced Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is turning out to be an exception. Last week 15,000 people flocked to a football stadium in the northeast city of Manado to catch a glimpse of the retired four-star Army general and the country's newest political phenomenon.
Nicholas Bloy had second thoughts about launching a private equity fund that abided by the tenets of Islamic law, or Sharia. His skepticism was understandable: a truly Muslim fund couldn't invest in a multinational corporation like Vivendi because it owns liquor brands like Seagrams, or Boeing because it produces cruise missiles.
Frail, thin and dressed in flowing white robes, Abu Bakar Bashir doesn't look like a terrorist mastermind. And he's certainly not being treated like one. Authorities in Singapore and Malaysia have accused the 63-year-old Indonesian Muslim cleric of leading a regional network of Muslim extremists whose members have stockpiled weapons and explosives in the Philippines and plotted to blow up U.S. military and business targets in Singapore.