Rock Star Rattles Radical Islam

October 7, 2006

Author: Rebecca U. Cho

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: RNS

To the millions of Indonesian youths who sell out his concerts, Ahmad Dhani is a superstar who has commanded the nation's rock scene for more than a decade.

But the charismatic leader of Dewa, one of Indonesia's top bands, isn't just any entertainer crooning about the heartaches of romantic love. Dhani is an ambassador for peace, using his music to lead Indonesia's youth away from radical Islam.

This week, the Muslim rocker was in the United States to share his message of religious tolerance with an entirely different audience: top U.S. government and military leaders at a national conference on homeland defense.

Dhani, 34, says attacking the ideology that motivates terrorists is the key to suppressing radical Islam.

With a longtime acquaintance, former Indonesian president Abdurraham Wahid, Dhani spoke to the group on Tuesday about a long-term strategy to combat religious extremism.