Close encounter:Nasir "Ariel" Irham (left) and Abubakar Ba'asyir.
Prison has brought celebrated pop singer Nazriel “Ariel” Irham closer to hard-line Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir physically, and perhaps spiritually.
Ba’asyir personal assistant Hasyim Abdullah, said Tuesday the firebrand cleric had often given advice to the lead vocal of former boyband Peterpan, who has been detained for his alleged role in a sex video scandal.
“Uztadz [teacher] usually suggests Ariel to routinely say a prayer and repent as his past life was far away from Islamic teachings,” Hasyim told kompas.com.
Ariel is sharing a prison with Ba'asyir, who was arrested for his alleged role in organizing a military training camp for terrorists in Aceh, at the National Police detention center in South Jakarta.
Hasyim said Ariel had frequently attended a mass prayer led by Ba’asyir.
“Uztadz has often asked Ariel to join the mass prayer. Perhaps Ariel has changed now,” Hasyim said.
Ba'asyir knew who Ariel was only after other prisoners told him of the singer, according to Hasyim.