INDONESIA — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent part of his Sunday in his stocking feet at an Indonesian mosque, at one point beating a huge drum used to call Muslims to prayer.
Kerry’s visit to the modern Istiqlal Mosque in central Jakarta, said to be the largest mosque in Southeast Asia with a capacity of 130,000, was designed to demonstrate his respect for Islam as he visited the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
Kerry spent about 20 minutes touring the mosque, chatting briefly with women studying Islamic law and admiring the blue ceiling of its dome.
Having removed his shoes in keeping with Islamic custom, Kerry at one point was shown a gigantic, skin-covered drum which rests sideways on the mosque’s floor and stood several feet taller than his head. Read more…