Bla, bla bla … another FPI brutality that the government will just wash their hands off.

Quoting what our dear Mr. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had said, “”I am deeply concerned with what happened yesterday afternoon. I strongly condemn the attackers that caused injuries to our people. Our nation is bound by the law and Constitution and is not a country that supports violent acts. In regard to this incident, the law must be upheld. Indonesia is a lawful state, not an anarchic state. We should not be defeated by violent actions.”

Um. Are you fucking kidding me? Did he just mention the law? What’s this about Indonesia being a lawful state? Since bloody when? Did he just think that the majority of us would just forget about the May ’98 tragedy and the fact that ten years have passed and yet nothing is being done to solve the riot, murder and rape cases?

How long must we wait for the government to investigate whether or not FPI should be banned? Ten years? Twenty years? Aren’t there enough evidence by now that their violent behaviors are unacceptable and that they are disrupting the peace of the country?

If what Rob says about the government being indecisive in banning FPI because they don’t want to be perceived as anti-Islam, then by all means do a poll to all the Islam believers in this country and ask their opinion about it. For all I know, FPI is a huge disgrace not only to the religion and to Indonesian Muslims, but also to Indonesia as a country in general.

No one wants to live in a country where there are religious extremists inciting murders and urging their members to do the same. I will not be surprised if other countries will start labeling Indonesia as a terrorist country where religious extremists are free to roam the streets and bash the shite out of other believers just because they want to show their authority.

Don’t even get me started on the way FPI treats other religious believers – that topic alone is enough for another brand new blog posting.

We can’t even rely to the police anymore because we all know how cowardly they are when it comes to trying to set the law straight. In Indonesia, the law is controlled by money. No money, no law. Simple as that.

I’ll say, when another FPI attack happens again (and it probably will), just unleash twenty Doberman Pinschers and let them scatter all over the place to bite those extremists sorry ass to the ground.

If they ain’t scared of the police, then they must be scared of huge-ass, meat-hungered dogs who haven’t been fed for three days, with slime dripping all over those beautiful fangs.

That’s my best idea so far – I know, I’m so brutal I amaze myself

from a woman isn’t it?

Elyani :
Date: June 4, 2008 @ 10:23 am

Of course no one is going to get prosecuted, what else should we expect. And this is exactly what this extremists wanted. Our government is displaying weakness by not taking action to get this dangerous fanatic (and others like him) out of harm’s way. By doing so they remain at liberty and continued to play with the law. But I read they have a strong support from an ex-chief of police headquarter in Jakarta.

Toni :
Date: June 6, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

Wondering why some of those male wearing woman night gown (kayak daster gitu …) LOL. If they really want to wear it, we have a lot of nice and intimate dress for them. Free of charge as long they can walk in our fashion runway. LOL again.

If you’ve read one of Rob Baiton’s postings, he described these FPI extremists to be just as bad as the Ku Klux Klan – the white robes, the burning, the sweeping of things … everything. Funny, people never seem to learn from history!

Rob :
Date: June 10, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

Ultimately, the government will wash their hands of this after making a few positive sound bites available such as arresting a few fellas here and there.

If you are going to use dogs, then you should probably use lots of them…Therry you are not really that mean to amaze yourself!

If you were really mean then you would want to see these FPI thugs arrested and then have them put into a big cage one at a time with 20 dobermans, kind of like the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) the way it used to be; no rules! Well, one rule, the winner is the last one standing! (in this case probably the dobermans)…

Now that is brutal. Congratulations Rob, I didn’t think you had it in you But me likey the idea very much …. the aftermath will probably look like those victims in Resident Evil after they have been torn to pieces by T-virus infected zombie Dobermans.

wd :
Date: June 12, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

even before the doberman pinchers are unleashed, the FPI members should run instantly when they see the dogs.. “secara” bakal harammmm getting contact with them.getting bitten would be double haraam for them.

btw.. why do Indonesian politicians always tend to make lips service? i think it would be quite difficult making a real change in Indonesia if nobody on the top government is available to sacrifice their private interests.

Al-Habib Muhammad Rizieq bin Hussein Syihab, leader of the pro-Suharto radical Muslim group FPI (Defenders of Islam), and his storm troopers may, after two years of apparent immunity from the process of law and order, be about to be brought to account.

Police over the weekend arrested 13 members of the FPI after violent attacks on several of the capital’s nightspots by an estimated 600 members. A discotheque was stoned and the equipment at two late-night pool bars destroyed.

Although the FPI has been consistently vandalizing and looting such entertainment venues for at least two years, there have never before been any arrests.

There is no evidence yet that the pivotal arrests and police action are related to the palpable nervousness here about the effect this domestic violence has on the image of Indonesia as seen by the outside world.

FPI aggression and violence in numerous attacks on places deemed to be “immoral”, including nightclubs and restaurants, radical Islamic groups continuously voicing resentment toward perceived threats to Islam, “sweeps” for US nationals in Central Java, and other such incidents have had an as yet uncalculated effect on tourism and foreign investment.

A visibly angry national police chief General Da’i Bachtiar confined his public comments to warning anyone or any group against taking the law into their own hands. “I remind all groups, whoever they are, to respect the law, and the law can only be implemented by institutions or officials empowered to do so. Anyone else should not take the law into their hands, because that is a violation of the laws,” Bachtiar warned.

Reining in the FPI will be no easy task. The movement was founded in 1998 and is said to be funded by rich anti-reformist generals intent on protecting the vested interests of the elite.

It is, though, a dangerous fallacy to say that political parties or members of the old Suharto crowd intent on destabilizing the capital and the country manipulate the FPI or to dismiss them as “Rent-a-Jihad”, fanatics for hire by the police and the military.

The New Order government under Suharto always restricted the political rise of Islam for the same reasons as the first president of Indonesia, Sukarno.

Realizing the potentially explosive force of a highly politicized Islam, especially at a time when Islamic fundamentalism was radicalizing politics from North Africa to Malaysia, Suharto foresaw a danger that the emergence of a politically dominant Islam would cleave Indonesian political society along religious lines.

Thus the national ideology, Pancasila, was to be the glue that held this large nation together. But is this glue still sticky enough?

It is hardly surprising, given the political turmoil since Suharto stepped down, that Islamic movements have seized the opportunity to be seen and be heard. The two largest Islamic groups, the 35-million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), whence PPP originated, and the Muhammadiyah with some 28 million members, neutered during the Suharto era, quickly regained their manhood and achieved a new and substantial political stature.

NU chairman Abdurrahman Wahid formed the National Awakening Party (PKB), and his most bitter foe, Muhammadiyah leader Amien Rais, founded the National Mandate Party (PAN).

For the first time in more than 30 years Muslim parties are represented in the Indonesian parliament, and are now conscious of their strength. Does this mean that Indonesia could become a Muslim theocratic state in the future, like Iran or Pakistan?

The Islam-based United Development Party (PPP), authorized by Suharto to represent all Islamic political factions, had a full makeover and broke its links with the establishment. Vice President Hamzah Haz, who was adamantly against Megawati Sukarnoputri becoming president in October 1999, heads the PPP, which, with another Islamic party, the Crescent Star Party (PBB), has long been campaigning for the revival of the Jakarta Charter. This calls for the adoption of syari’ah (Islamic law) for Muslims, and needs an amendment to Article 29 of the constitution which was rejected by the MPR at its annual session in August.

A keystone of the FPI demands is also reformation of Islam by imposing Islamic law in Indonesia, in an attempt to appeal to fellow Muslim citizens. They strive for publicity, however bad, to make up for the fact that they are extremely small in numbers, though they claim to have thousands of “warriors” ready to take up arms as it were.

Most of their followers are from the lower strata of society, poorly educated and usually unemployed.

Wielding vicious homemade spears everywhere they went, the FPI forces of repression were earlier ill-received by a reformation movement determined to fight. Nowadays though, when these white-robed “warriors” go on the march, most civilians get out of the way.

Just prior to the latest attacks, the hardliners toured Central Jakarta in a convoy of vehicles, bawling and screaming aggression, and even the police admitted they were unable to stem the violence because they were outnumbered.

Although some 80 percent of Indonesia’s 215 million people Indonesia are Muslim, the vast majority are moderates. According to Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) chairman Amidhan, Muslim hardliners make up only 1 percent of the country’s population.

Asked whether FPI was a competitor to the mainstream Islamic groups, Al-Habib admitted, “NU is wiser, more polite and softer. Muhammadiyah is critical, intellectual. FPI is more physical, we fight immorality. NU plants the seeds of the paddy, because it has the seeds. FPI doesn’t have the seeds, we only have the sickle. Our job is to clean up the mice, the pests that ruin the paddy. It’s just a division of labor. There is no competition between us.”

Syafi’i Ma’arif, chairman of Muhammadiyah, however, has frequently warned that mainstream Islamic groups need to stay close to their members and listen to their aspirations, so that the voice of the “silent majority” of mainstream Muslims is heard, at least in the background.

The latest incidents and the subsequent arrests have attracted little attention in the foreign media but if the establishment backs off caging the violent fringe elements, the perceptions will be of a significant political shift toward a more aggressive groundswell of Islam in Indonesia.

The FPI and other radical groups may not yet have won over disaffected mainstream Muslims, but unless the weekend arrests signal a crackdown on their violence, threats and intimidation, the outlook could rapidly deteriorate.

The real defenders of Islam in Indonesia are the Islamic masses that mainly belong to the NU and Muhamaddiyah, who see Indonesia as safer within its traditional plurality. These organizations have consistently warned that the introduction of Islamic law is not acceptable to the spirit of the national state of Indonesia.

The NU, for example, speaks for a membership in excess of 30 million and an unparalleled, grassroots, village-based system of traditional religious schools or pesantren that covers the whole archipelago.

The modernist Muhammadiyah, on the other hand, is largely middle-class-based, and its philanthropic success in building universities, hospitals, orphanages and foundations inspires the loyalty of an equally important sector of modern Indonesian society.
Together, the two organizations reach out and touch the hearts and souls of most of Indonesia’s “ordinary” Muslims.

The extremists are not acting with the blessing of the NU, the Muhamaddiyah or the government of Indonesia. With their actions they not only threaten the image of Islam but also pose a danger to the preservation of Indonesia as a secular state governed (more or less) in line with the all-inclusive and tolerant Pancasila ideology.

Though Megawati has been able since September 11, 2001, to juggle support for the US-led global “war” on terrorism and the sensitivities of the Muslim majority in Indonesia, this was largely due to senior officers in the Indonesian military (TNI) holding fast to their predominantly moderate and secular views so as to avoid alienating the wider Muslim community.

But now the new military paradigm, and the consequent hardline stance on any protests or disturbances that threaten security or stability, may encourage once again the use of excessive force in controlling anti-US sentiment. If US President George W Bush goes ahead and bombs Iraq, the situation on the ground in Indonesia could deteriorate very quickly and Americans may have to be withdrawn to safety.

Suharto, like his predecessor Sukarno, feared that fundamentalist Islamic elements, the “extreme” right, posed as much of a threat to the unity and security of the state as the communists, the “extreme” left. Unrestrained Islam was not something Suharto and the military would ever allow.

Later, Abdurrahman Wahid tried hard to move toward separating religion from the state but found that Islam is too embedded in Indonesian culture to be taken out of politics.

Mainstream Indonesian Muslims also fear a new secular Indonesia that would take away the right of their religion to be afforded state protection.

Al-Habib and his radical Islamic FPI, on the other hand, which wishes to see Indonesia become an Islamic state and is most keen on taking the law into its own hands to protect Muslim “values”, represent a clear and present danger to Indonesia.

The agenda is clear. Two months after Megawati was sworn in as president last year, Al-Habib was interviewed by a local media consultancy firm and had this to say: “When a policy is issued to castrate the rights of FPI, or oppress Muslim people, we will fight. So, we warn the government not to try to oppress Muslims. As long as they do not, FPI will have no reasons to act. But if the government acts against Muslims, then we will take real action! So, we will watch the behavior of the government. You can say that FPI is practicing social control towards Megawati’s government and the policies it makes. So we would like to warn the present government under Megawati: Don’t mess with Muslim people or try to oppress them! We will be watching! This is a warning!”

Though the FPI thugs have waged a relentless campaign of destruction of property owned by those they say are sinners, to the radicals the sin of the president is just that of being born a woman. Al-Habib has said FPI will not recognize a female president and, according to him, under syariah a woman cannot be president.

The continued violence and unrest in the regions, economic turmoil and the scrabble for political clout before the elections in 2004, as well as the general lawlessness, all creates a ripe battlefield for those who abuse the law and openly defy the authorities in the name of Islam.

There is little of more fundamental importance to Indonesia than the attainment of religious harmony in these multiracial, secular states, whose people find their spiritual strength in various religions and live amid such a diverse cultural tradition.

Religious sensitivities, more often than not, have created havoc in the community. Religious and sectarian killings in Ambon and the rest of the Spice Islands have claimed many hundreds of lives.

Islam is a religion of love and peace, and those who resort to destruction and violence are blackening its image and discrediting its message. The FPI, however, portrays the religion as a violent and fierce creed, and demonstrations and violent behavior only tarnish the image of Islam. Confiscating beer and spirits, smashing nightclub signs, windows, and security posts, accosting people, shaving the heads of women, and other acts of intimidation have nothing in common with believers of any faith.

The demonstrators say they are acting on behalf of Islam, so it is fair to ask how they interpret the Islamic religion, which teaches the virtues of wisdom, patience and mutual respect, by showing their disrespect for the law and for the authorities.

They want to show their antipathy toward immoral activities, but they fail to convince that they are of high morals themselves, or that they have any respect for the law.

Further adverse publicity and any perception of unrestrained Islamism of the sort Suharto so carefully caged will set Indonesia even farther back on the road to economic recovery. Continued weakness in law enforcement against Muslims who are committing such offenses threatens the growth of even more Islamic extremism and even a potential economic collapse that would destabilize the entire region.

Monday, June 23, 2008

News > Daily Service > INDONESIA Print This Post Mail Report Comment

INDONESIA Church Officials, Youths Of All Religions Condemn Attack On Interreligious Rally
June 9, 2008 | IJ05133.1501 | 690words Text size
JAKARTA (UCAN) — The attack on an interreligious rally in Jakarta on the 63rd anniversary of Pancasila, the state ideology, is an affront to the nation, religious and youth leaders say.

Father Benny Susetyo, in charge of the Catholic bishops’ interreligious affairs commission, told UCA News on June 3 the government must suspend Islam Defenders Front (FPI, Indonesian acronym) for the June 1 attack.

On that day, around 500 FPI members attacked about 200 people, many of them women and children, at the National Monument for a rally of the National Alliance for the Freedom of Faith and Religion. Media reported that FPI members carried bamboo sticks and stones, injuring about 70 people, and that they believed the rally was in support of the Ahmadiyah sect.

A government team in April had recommended the sect be banned for teaching doctrines that deviate from Islam.

On June 4, police raided the FPI headquarters in Jakarta and detained 59 members. The next day, police detained FPI leader Habib Rizieq Shihab and six other members, local media reported. As of June 9, Shihab was still in police custody.

Father Susetyo, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, condemned the June 1 attack particularly because it happened on the day commemorating Pancasila (five principles), the state ideology. It comprises belief in the one and only God, a just and civilized humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy guided by the inner wisdom of consensus arising from deliberations among representatives, and social justice for all.

The priest called for FPI to be suspended in accordance with a 1985 law that allows the government to suspend the central board of a mass organization, pending furhter evaluation, if its acts are harmful to order and security. He maintained the attack has caused social anxiety and unrest.

Leaders of religious youth groups who spoke with UCA News agreed with Father Susetyo.

“FPI creates more harm than benefit for society,” said Ferry Panjaya, a Protestant. He called on religious leaders to calm their people, noting that an unidentified group had tried to attack the FPI office in Yogyakarta and youth groups of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Muslim organization, have forced FPI to close down in other cities in Java.

Albert Siagian, general secretary of the Indonesian Christian Students Movement, agreed people must use constructive and civilized ways of expression. Kris Tan, head of Confucian Young Generation, said the June 1 attack violated human rights and Pancasila, and “threatens minority groups and the unitary state.”

Ronny Hermawan, general chairman of Indonesian Buddhist Young Generation, said the attack has disgraced every religion and damaged interreligious harmony. Nonetheless, he called on people not to take revenge.

Yusak Ismanto, central coordinator of Indonesian Movement for Humanity, told UCA News he thinks the attack was part of “a hidden agenda” to shift the people’s focus from the recent fuel-price increase.

Some Muslims who spoke with UCA News disagreed with the FPI actions. Mulyani Savitri said FPI’s “violent ways” insult the religion and “destroy the image of our nation.” Novianto, a senior high-school student, admitted being “afraid of FPI” because “in the public’s eyes, FPI is identified with violence.”

FPI member Zulfikri, 21, however, said he was obeying his chief’s command. “We must strictly act for the benefit of our religion,” he told UCA News just after the attack.

One of the people attacked was Ahmad Suaedy, executive director of Wahid Institute, a socioreligious research and advocacy group.

He recalled FPI people beat his head, chin and back with bamboo. “I could not run away because I had to protect my wife, some other women and a handicapped person in a wheelchair,” he said. “We demand the government bring the perpetrators to court … and disband (FPI),” Suaedy asserted.

Meanwhile, members of Yogyakarta Alliance for Peaceful Indonesia and Pancasila Defenders Society read out a statement in front of the provincial legislative council building in Yogyakarta, 430 kilometers southeast of the capital. They urged “the president, parliament and legal authorities to guard the state constitution, Pancasila and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia from groups who openly shake the very foundation of the state.”


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