Saturday, July 3, 2010

Indonesian Islamists eye proselytizing Christians:"Islamic youth militia held its first day of training..."

In this Tuesday, June 29, 2010 photo, an Indonesian Muslim woman reads a banner with a picture of a young, bespectacled Christian man and the words:"Death penalty for Andreas Dusly Sanau" in front of a mosque at Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia.
(AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
BEKASI, Indonesia – A banner with a picture of a young, bespectacled Christian man is draped in front of a mosque, a fiery noose around his neck and the words, "This man deserves the death penalty!"
Churches are shut down. And an Islamic youth militia held its first day of training.
Though the events all occurred less than nine miles (15 kilometers) from Indonesia's bustling capital, making headlines in local papers and dominating chats on social networking sites such as Facebook, they've sparked little public debate in the halls of power.
"I really see this as a threat to democracy," said Arbi Sanit, a political analyst, noting leaders never like to say anything that can be perceived as "un-Islamic," because they depend heavily on the support of Muslim parties in parliament."Being popular is more important to them than punishing those who are clearly breaking the law," Sanit said.
Indonesia, a secular nation with more Muslims than any other in the world, has a long history of religious tolerance, though a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years. Members of the Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, have been known to smash bars, attack transvestites and go after minority sects with bamboo clubs and stones.
Now, they are targeting Christians in the fast-growing industrial city of Bekasi....


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