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Indonesia blasts Islamic State's efforts to recruit

JAKARTA Indonesia's religious affairs minister has lambasted continued efforts by an al Qaeda splinter group -- which has seized parts of Syria and Iraq -- to encourage Indonesians to join them. Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has said in a statement that the Islamic State is a violent and radical group whose ideology runs counter to his country's five-point philosophical foundation, that includes justice, democracy, and humanity. He added that anyone pledging allegiance of signing an oath to a foreign nation could lead to them losing their citizenships In a recent "Join the Ranks" video a man exhorts Indonesians to join the group, while others stand around in military gear holding rifles. "We ask you, where's your faith?" he says in Bahasa Indonesia. "Why are you worried? What's the reason for your fear? Are your wives and children the reason that you're prevented from jihad? Are your homes, businesses, and wealth more beloved to you than Allah, His Messenger, and jihad in His path?" The video concludes with a call from the man for Indonesians to sign up and pledge allegiance to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim. The religious affairs minister -- who comes from Indonesia's largest Islamic organization -- underlined Friday that preaching should be carried out peacefully, not violently, and called for Islamic scholars to reinforce the concept of Islam as a blessing for mankind. In June, a video of Indonesian men again speaking in Bahasa was posted on YouTube. "Let us fight in the path of Allah because it is our duty to do jihad in the path of Allah," they said.  The Islamic State has overrun large parts of western and northern Iraq and western and northern Syria, where it has been engaged in fierce battles with the armies of both countries. The group claims it wants to establish a caliphate (Islamic state) in place of current Arab states in North Africa, the Levant and the Arab Peninsula.

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