Islamic conservatives have a broad definition of pornography, and want
the world to keep the racy stuff away from young Moslems. Government attempts
to ban kissing or hugging in public, or viewing naked women on the Internet
have been very unpopular inside Indonesia, and are largely ignored. The
government, like rulers in most Moslem majority nations, feel compelled to heed
demands from the Islamic conservative minority. These radicals insist that
Islamic rules must be followed to the letter, and that criticizing or interfering
with Islam is forbidden. In practice, neither of these conditions are met. But
rather than risk a violent insurrection (Islamic terrorism) the government goes
through the motions of giving in to Islamic bigots.
2008: The head of the Central Bank was arrested for corruption. He is one of
the highest government officials to be prosecuted by the anti-corruption
office. Growing corruption is largely responsible for stalled economic growth
over the last decade.
massive uproar from Internet users, the government backed down and dropped its
ban on access to YouTube, MySpace, Google Video and other web sites found to be
hosting the Dutch film, "Fitna." Instead, in order to appease Islamic
conservatives, Internet access providers are blocking access only to individual
pages showing "Fitna."
2008: Obeying government orders, Indonesian Internet providers have blocked all
access to YouTube, MySpace, Google Video and other web sites found to be
hosting the Dutch film, "Fitna" (which is considered un-Islamic for pointing
out the connection between Islamic scripture and Islamic terrorism).
2008: The Malacca Straits, which handle 30 percent of the worlds shipping
traffic, had no pirate attacks last
year. This was largely due to joint maritime and air patrols by Indonesia and
Singapore and Malaysia. The pirates are still there, but to avoid the patrols,
they go to adjacent areas looking for ships to rob.
2008: In West Timor (the Indonesian half of the island) unrest among 16,000
refugees from East Timor has caused the evacuation of foreign aid workers (who
were threatened with kidnapping). The refugees were Indonesians who had
migrated to East Timor, as well as native East Timorans who had sided with the
Indonesian government (who opposed independence). When East Timor achieved
independence in 1999 (via the use of UN peacekeepers to force out the armed
anti-independence militias), the pro-Indonesians fled (fearing retribution for
having killed about a thousand separatists in the months before the
peacekeepers arrived). The refugees have been demanding (and not getting) compensation
(about $8 million) from the Indonesian government.
2008: Unrest is again brewing in Aceh,
for the same reasons (corruption) as before the separatist rebels gave up,
became politicians, and were elected to run the province. Extortion, theft and
favoritism are all used now by the former rebels. To make matters worse, the
aftermath of the 2005 earthquake and tidal waves that devastated the coastal
areas of Aceh, have ruined the economy. This was accomplished by corruption
interacting with the flood of relief aid that came to Aceh. Rather than return
to agriculture and other productive pursuits, many people are just living off
the foreign aid. When the aid disappears, as it eventually will (drawn off to a
more recent disaster), the economy will collapse and Aceh will be worse of, and
angrier. Which will produce another revolutionary movement.
2008: The government banned YouTube, because if was showing the 17 minute Dutch
film, "Fitna" (which is considered un-Islamic for pointing out the connection
between Islamic scripture and Islamic terrorism).
2008: Two Islamic terrorists, Abdur Rohim and Agus Purwanto, were extradited
from Malaysia. The two men had been arrested there on January, after their
phony passports were detected. The two were traveling from Indonesia to Syria,
where they were to meet with other Islamic terror groups. The two were involved
in numerous terrorist acts in Indonesia, including bombings, and the beheading
of three teenage Christian girls.
2008: Indonesian Islamic conservatives are angered by the release, on the Internet,
of a short Dutch film, "Fitna", which simply points out the connection between
Islamic religious teachings and the persistence of violence and terrorism in
the name of Islam. Along with Iran and other Moslem nations, there is a call
for Internet censorship to prevent "Fitna" from being seen by anyone.