Indonesia: Sucking Up To Islamic Bigots

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April 16,2008: 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.

April 11, 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.

After a 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."

April 8, 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).

April 6, 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.

April 5, 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.

April 3, 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.

April 2, 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).

March 28, 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.

March 27, 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.

 

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