Indonesia: October 22, 2004


Two Islamic organizations,  FPI (Islam Defenders Front) and  FBR (Betawi Brotherhood Forum), are sending gangs of thugs around the capital to trash cafes, restaurants and other public places they feel are violating Ramadan (the annual Moslem month of daytime fasting and prayer). This means that places serving tourists are attacked by a dozen or more angry men. The police are searching for those responsible, and the tourists are beginning to stay away. The Islamic gangs have, in the past few years, tried this sort of thing around the year. But locals banded together and confronted the gangs. That discouraged the Islamic militants. But during Ramadan, they feel God is really on their side.  That may be the case, but the police aren't. And Indonesians that depend on tourists for a living may not be either. 




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