Indonesia: Islamic Lifestyle Police Paid For By Tsunami Relief

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December31, 2006: Terrorist attacks were way down in 2006. There were 17 bombings, leaving four wounded and no dead. In 2005, there were 19 bombings, that killed 49 and wounded 183. Not all the 2006 bombings were by Islamic groups. Several were apparently retaliation attacks by Christian groups. The lower death toll this year can be attributed to police pressure on terrorist organizations. Police continue to seek, and arrest, the skilled bomb makers and terrorist leaders. In the last five years, over three hundred terrorist suspects have been arrested in Indonesia, and two thirds of them prosecuted. The bad news is that the government has been less vigorous in cracking down on senior religious leaders who bless Islamic radicalism and, in private, Islamic terrorism.

December 27, 2006: Christmas passed with no terrorist attacks.

December 25, 2006: Aceh (western Indonesia) was hardest hit by the massive earthquakes and tsunami (tidal waves) two years ago. But the billions of dollars in relief aid has backfired in the form of corrupt officials who stole a lot of money, and Islamic radicals who came in and used terror and force to hijack a lot aid as well. One of the things the relief donations paid for was a religious police force, to enforce Sharia (religious law). Thousands of Islamic radicals have been hired to patrol urban areas, looking for people drinking alcohol, not dressed properly (especially women), unescorted women, people not praying when they should be, or eating at the wrong time. Violators can be arrested and jailed or given a public whipping. The government allowed Sharia law to be come the local law, for Moslems, in 2002. But it wasn't until all the disaster relief money came in, along with Islamic charities (run by Islamic radicals) that were able to grab a lot of the donated money, that it was possible to establish a religious police force to enforce Sharia. Now the Islamic radicals want to expand the provincial Sharia law to include amputations (for thieves), death and applying Sharia to non-Moslems. The newly elected governor, a former rebel leader, is opposed to expanding Sharia law, and he can veto such proposals. The new governor wants to go after government corruption, while the Islamic radicals are more interested in punishing bareheaded women, and diverting relief funds to pay for it.

December 22, 2006: The Australian government warned its citizens that there might be Islamic terrorist attacks in Indonesia over Christmas. Indonesia protested that security had been increased for Christmas, and they had no information about terrorist attacks. Australians were warned their might be attacks, but not urged to avoid visiting Indonesia. However, since attacks in 2005, most Australian tourists have avoided Indonesia, which has hurt the economy.

 

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