Indonesia: The Religion Of Peace Shows Its Fangs

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June 25, 2008: While Moslem leaders insist that Islam is the religion of peace, the history of Islam says otherwise. Islamic radicals, and many sects of Islam, are anything but peaceful. These radicals can easily dominate the majority of Moslems, and perpetuate a reign of terror on local non-Moslems, as well as any Moslems who oppose this religious violence. Most Moslems, and especially Moslem leaders in Moslem majority nations, delude themselves that this "Islam Is Peace" mantra is true. The result is that, when the Islamic radicals show up (and they have always been there, since the founding of Islam 1500 years ago), the more moderate leaders try to placate them. That doesn't work, and in a tragedy played out regularly in the history of Islam, the radicals are either suppressed, or gain strength until they are strong enough to fight a civil war. If the radicals win, they establish a religious dictatorship that lasts a generation or two, but eventually collapses from corruption and poor administration (running a government and economy according to the Koran does not work, a fact that the faithful keep denying despite evidence to the contrary). All this is playing itself out in Indonesia, with a democratically elected government trying to placate the radicals, while about half the population would like to at least try a religious government, if only to reduce the rampant corruption and solve some of the economic problems. That's a false hope that has never worked in the past. But hope is like that, and the religious radicals are always ready to take advantage of it.

June 24, 2008: A government prosecutor was charged with accepting a $903,000 bribe from a crooked banker, to drop an embezzlement case. While this showed that major criminals still believed they could buy their way out of jail, it also demonstrated how the current anti-corruption campaign is succeeding, and is not a complete sham, as so many anti-corruption efforts have been.

June 20, 2008: As more Moslems move to Papua (the western half of New Guinea, one of the largest islands on the planet, and home of hundreds of Melanesian tribes that are very different culturally from the rest of Indonesia, and are largely Christian and pagan, rather than Moslem), ethnic and religious tensions have gotten worse. Along with these Malay (the largest ethnic group in Indonesia) migrants (seeking farmland in thinly populated Indonesia), come Islamic radicals, who promptly organize violence against the non-Moslem Papuans. But the Papuans push back, and local police have warned the national government that a major outbreak of violence is possible.

June 18, 2008: A navy patrol seized a fishing boat carrying a large quantity of fertilizer commonly used for making explosives. While the fishermen claimed the stuff was for "fish bombs" (tossing explosives into the water, to stun fish that can then be easily picked up), the quantity seemed suspiciously large. Since the boat was headed for West Sulawesi, where Islamic radicals were building bombs, for attacks on Christians, the fishermen were arrested on suspicion of smuggling for the Islamic radicals there.  

June 14, 2008: The police have arrested over a dozen Islamic radical leaders, and are searching for more. The police believe that these radical leaders are largely responsible for organizing the violent demonstrations in favor of establishing an Islamic religious dictatorship in Indonesia, and persecuting non-Moslems.

June 9, 2008: The government gave into Islamic radicals and issued an order for members of the Ahmadiyah sect to either stop practicing their religion (an Islamic variant that Islamic radicals consider heresy) or face prosecution. It remains to be seen if the government will actually follow up on this decree, which has been a major demand of Islamic radicals lately.

 

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