Rock group Dewa's lead guitarist Ahmad Dhani is featured in the Washington Post.
The tunes of many Dewa songs, particularly "Aku Milikku", which has a really fine opening, and ending, are a familiar sound in the Indonesia Matters bunker and it's pleasing to see the group's main man get some international attention, if not precisely for his music.
Ahmad Dhani of Dewa
The WP writes on 7th October that Dhani is battling hard to keep Indonesian youth away from the influence of radical Islam. In the United States currently to, of all things, meet with top U.S. government and military leaders at the 2006 National Homeland Defense Foundation Symposium in Colorado, Dhani, accompanied by Abdurraham "Gus Dur" Wahid, says that he seeks to promote a harmonious, moderate Islam through his music. Dhani apparently asked for long term assistance from the West to help in combating extremism in Islam.
A drop out from a fundamentalist Islamic school Dhani came to be increasingly influenced by the Naqshbandi school of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam well suited to the Javanese mind and popular in East Java in particular, and the effects of this have been increasingly seen in the music of the band. In late 2004 the album "Laskar Cinta", or "Warriors of Love" was launched, the title of which was likely a play on the name of a militant jihadist group "Laskar Jihad" (Holy War Warriors) whose members wrought much misery and death upon Indonesian Christians in the civil wars of central Sulawesi and the Malukus in the late 1990's and early 2000's.
Radical Islamic groups took a dim view of Ahmad Dhani and he and his family went into hiding in 2005. However by the end of the year the band had produced a new album, "Republik Cinta" (Republic of Love), this time with a song entitled "Laskar Cinta" (the previous album of the same name did not have a title track), in which apparently some Quranic and hadith verses were included in the lyrics of.