Posted at 08:41 AM ET, 04/25/2011

‘SBY Kafir’: Indonesian president labeled an ‘infidel’

Presidential candidate Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is greeted by children upon arrival for Friday prayers at a mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2004. (Muchtar Zakaria - AP)
A cleric who is being tried for an alleged series of terrorist activities called the Indonesian president an “infidel” during a hearing Monday.

The cleric said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, widely known by his initials SBY, is an unbeliever because of his “failure to hold up the true law under Islam,” Indonesian English-language newspaper the Jakarta Post reported Monday.

SBY is a popular president in his second term, and a Muslim. The rabble-rousing cleric, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, also said all Indonesian leaders were evil, but that Islam had been especially slandered under SBY’s presidency.

The Indonesian Twittersphere immediately reacted to the cleric’s accusation, using the words‘SBY Kafir’ to talk about it, which translates to ‘SBY infidel.’

Most tweets from Indonesia were words in support of the president, clarifying that he is not “kafir”:

SBY is NOT kafir. I mean, come ON, you can't do that to our president. :lless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

SBY kafir? are u kidding? He's our president!! This is really bad joke ever..less than a minute ago via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply

RT @tiikoo: #ithurtswhen I see 'SBY kafir' is be a trending topic in twitter, hey wake up indonesian. he's our leader -,-' T,Tless than a minute ago via XTwin Favorite Retweet Reply

But it was also a lesson in subjects that take on a life of their own on the Internet, as many tweeted for “SBY Kafir” to stop trending, but perpetuated its use by doing so:

Stop trending sby kafir please , he is our president . Respect pleaseless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  08:41 AM ET, 04/25/2011

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