Son of Mas Selamat

Son of Mas Selamat

SINGAPORE - The several hundred neighbours who attended the wedding reception of teachers Muhammad Hanif and Choiriyah Nurrohmah three Sundays ago at a village in southern Solo found it odd.

There were no wedding photographers.

And guests had a hard time picking out the groom, who dressed plainly in a tunic and trousers rolled up above his ankles.

Male and female guests were separated by a curtain, recalls neighbourhood community leader Joko Haryono, 51: "There were only waiters, so the female section didn't have anyone to help serve food.

"And it was in a style that was so un-Javanese. There was only a Quran recital and preaching, no dances or the usual display of traditional Javanese culture."

Mrs Andi Handoko, whose husband runs a food stall across the road from the wedding hall said: "The bride was on stage with several other women, all clad in burqas.

We couldn't tell which one was the bride."

But what happened next would become the talk of the village for days to come.

Shortly before noon, bridegroom Hanif, 24, and his wife's seven-year-old brother walked to the nearby mosque for their midday prayer.

The next moment, two police officers in plain clothes appeared and tried to detain him. Hanif resisted, elbowing the men. Six others quickly subdued him, eyewitnesses said.

News reached the wedding reception that "a jihad man has been arrested".

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