Wednesday, 9 February 2011

If They're The Moderates...

Back in November, America's witless President "lauded Indonesia's unity between people of different faiths as as a model for Islam and the West". Indonesia is routinely portrayed by the Western media - no matter what happens there - as a "moderate" Muslim country and the most tolerant in the Islamic world.

Well, scratch that idea.

Several recent incidents have demonstrated that Indonesia is in fact a hotbed of virulent infidel-hatred and intolerance. Yesterday, thousands of angry Muslims (perhaps yet another wing of that "tiny minority of extremists" we're always hearing about) attacked three churches, a Christian orphanage and a health centre that is also Christian.

The revolt took place in Temanggung regency (Central Java), and started right in front of the town hall: first the crowd attacked the court where a trial against Richmond Bawengan Antonius, a Christian accused of proselytising and blasphemy, was being held.

Bawengan was arrested in October 2010 because during a visit to Temanggung he had distributed printed missionary material which, among other things, poked fun at some Islamic symbols. This "profanity" has cost him five years in prison at the hands of the "tolerant" Indonesian regime, but the crowd were demanding the death sentence. The violence was sparked by their dissatisfaction with the verdict.

Instead of leaving the court, the crowd started pushing, shouting provocative slogans and then destroyed the building. Hundreds of police rushed in to intervene but failed to appease the thousands of Muslims who began to march en masse to "target Christians" on the main street of the city.

Then there is the case of the Ahmadiyya, a minority Muslim sect considered heretical by the vast majority of Muslims because, among other things, they consider their sect's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to be the final Prophet of Allah rather than Muhammad (they also, it must be noted, have a slightly more moderate, apologetic stance on jihad against unbelievers: another reason for which they have been persecuted by the orthodox).

In 2008, the Indonesian government outlawed Ahmadism, although they have denied that this is in any way intolerant. But the persecution of the Ahmadis is very real in Indonesia, and in other parts of the Islamic world, as was demonstrated recently when 1000 Muslims (obviously another tiny minority of extremists) stormed a house in West Java to stop the Ahmadis from holding worship. You can watch some footage of this below - however, be warned: it is brutally, sickeningly graphic. You will see people being killed as Muslims gleefully and mockingly run at them and bludgeon them in their heads and necks with sticks and rocks - all the while shouting "Allahu Akbar!". If you are easily upset, you may want to think twice about watching this video.

I honestly hope Barack Obama is watching it. But even then, I don't expect the slightest shred of doubt to creep into his ideologically-driven mind that there might be a problem with the religion of his childhood, or that Indonesia may not in fact be the multicultrual paradise he wants it to be. Only Islamophobes would think such things, after all.

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