Indonesia: Not Cool


March 25,2008: In East Timor, the 30,000 refugees of last year's violence are returning home. The rebels are discredited and dispirited, with many deserting the cause or surrendering. There were originally several hundred armed rebels, men who had deserted from a 600 man army battalion that rebelled over pay and prestige issues two years ago, and were fired. Over 500 police, soldiers and peacekeepers continue to hunt the remaining rebels, mainly to convince them to surrender.

Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who inspired several groups of Islamic terrorists to kill several hundred people six years ago, got off with a light sentence and was released from prison last year. Since then, he has increasingly urged his followers to attack foreign tourists. Bashir really has a thing about nude beaches, although most of his young followers would rather go there to look, not kill. For the last six months, Bashir has been preaching violence against tourists, but few, if any, of his young followers have been sufficiently inspired to do the deed. Police continue to monitor Bashir.

There are still plenty of Islamic radicals in the country, and clerics who preach violence against infidels (non-Moslems). But it's no longer fashionable to be an Islamic terrorist killer. The news from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where Islamic terrorists are active, have shown too many attacks that just killed fellow Moslems. This is not very popular in Moslem nations, and the Indonesian kids have picked up on this.




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