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Indonesian Non-Muslims Don’t Push Back

Another article with a misleading headline and lede, from the Associated Press:

Indonesian Christians have their mouths taped as Indonesian national Red-White flags are waved at half-mast during a protest against rising violence by Islamic hard-liners in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010.

Religious minorities in Indonesia push back

By Irwan Firdaus [sic], Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 16, 2010

BEKASI, Indonesia – Tired of government inaction, Christians and other religious minorities in Indonesia are pushing back against rising violence by Islamic hard-liners.

For months, Christians in the industrial city of Bekasi have been warned against worshipping on a field that houses their shuttered church. They’ve arrived to find human feces dumped on the land and sermons have been interrupted by demonstrators chanting "Infidels!" and "Leave now!"

But last week, tensions finally exploded.

Twenty worshippers were met by 300 Islamic hard-liners, many of whom hurled shoes and water bottles before pushing past a row of riot police. The mob chased down and punched several members of the group.

"The constitution guarantees our right to practice our religion!" Yudi Pasaribu of the Batak Christian Protestant Church said, vowing to return every Sunday until their request for a place of worship, made more than two years ago, is approved.

"And we want to do that on our own property, in our own church."

How naive can you get? Islam has taken over in Indonesia. Their ‘Constitution’ is meaningless. No other religion will ever be allowed to flourish. No other law will be enforced but Sharia law.

Indonesia, a secular country of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other in the world. Though it has a long history of religious tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

If you don’t count the half million or so killed by the Indonesian Muslims in the mid-1960s.

Hard-liners have also become more violent, according to the Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, a human rights group, which said there have already been 28 attacks on religious freedom in 2010, including everything from preventing groups from performing prayers to burning houses of worship.

The institute said there were 18 such incidents in all of 2009 and 17 in 2008.

Though most Indonesians are moderate and oppose violence, critics say President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s [sic] government has been slow to intervene because it relies heavily on the support of Islamic parties in parliament.

Acting on the orders of local officials, police helped hard-liners forcibly close several mosques owned by Ahmadiyah, an Islamic sect they call "deviant," last month in Manis Lor, a village in West Java province.

So even fellow Muslims are not spared.

But members of the sect, who differ from other Muslims about whether Muhammad was the "final" monotheist prophet, have so far refused to buck under.

"We’re tired of being harassed and attacked," said Yati Hidayat, a 48-year-old Ahmadiyah member. "We have the right to pray just like any other religious community. If anyone tries to stop us, we’re ready to fight."

Recent attacks have largely been led by the Islamic Defenders Front, or the FPI, which is pushing for the implementation of Islamic-based laws in regions across the nation.

They are known for smashing bars, attacking transvestites and going after those considered blasphemous with bamboo clubs and stones. Perpetrators are rarely punished or even questioned by police

Hundreds of people held an interfaith rally in Jakarta over the weekend demanding the government take a tougher line.

"Those attackers have to be arrested, otherwise they will feel their actions are right," said Saur Siagain, a rally organizer, standing in front of a banner that said: "The president has to be responsible in guaranteeing freedom of religion." …

So this is the “push back” that the headline and lede talk about? An "interfailth rally" by "hundred of people"? Yes, that will certainly turn things around.

But as attacks become more frequent and more brutal, religious minorities — together with moderate Muslims — appear to be losing patience.

"The Batak Christian Protestant Church and Ahmadiyah were around long before FPI," said Hilmar Farid from Indonesia’s Social History Institute. "They are getting tired of being intimidated."

In a rare show of force, hundreds of police showed up to protect the Batak Christians on Aug. 8. But they made little effort to stop FPI members as they got increasingly vitriolic.

"The Batak Christians deserve to be stabbed to death," yelled Murhali Barda, who heads the FPI chapter in Bekasi. "If they refuse to go home we are ready to fight."

An argument broke out between Barda and three female members of the congregation. The hard-liners shoved and started punching them. All the while, men chanted from a truck and clerics made speeches saying "Leave. … We will not let you perform prayers here!"

The crowd, made up largely of children, cheered in response: "God is great!"

Getting beat up somehow shows that the Christians and other minorities are "losing patience"?

No, there is no “push back.” Not in Indonesia, and not here in the US, either.

And that is the problem.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 16th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Indonesian Non-Muslims Don’t Push Back”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Turning the other cheek only to have that cheek slapped………is about over.
    Muslims here in the U.S. are treading on some thin ice as far as tolerance is concerned.
    Muslim Obamao had the Cross with Jesus on it covered at Notre Dame when he spoke there.
    There is “NO” tolerance when it comes to Muslims and their hate for everyone and everything not Islam.

    Thin ice indeed.

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