JERUSALEM – A leader of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization is visiting Israel, braving angry protests at home in order to spread what he calls a message of interfaith compassion.
Yahya Staquf, secretary general of the 60 million member Nahdlatul Ulama, is visiting as a guest of the American Jewish Committee, a U.S. advocacy group holding a major conference in Jerusalem.
Staquf said Monday he hopes the controversy can bring more attention to his message of tolerance.
Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and support there for the Palestinians is strong. Staquf's presence has triggered angry reactions, as seen on Indonesian social media.
Earlier this week, Staquf addressed the conference appearing alongside a rabbi. His schedule also includes talks with local Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders.