Islamic radicals have continued
their violent attacks on other religions, or Islamic sects. Over a hundred
Christian churches have been forced to close (either via intimidation or by
burning them down) in the last five years. Recently, the Islamic Ahmadiyah
sect, with 200,000 members in Indonesia, has also been attacked. Islamic
radicals demand that the government declare Ahmadiyah illegal. Ahmadiyah was
founded in Pakistan over a century ago, and is banned in Pakistan. The
government caved, and banned Ahmadiyah. Also in the last week, a court banned Jemaah
Islamiah as well, arrested two of its leaders and demanded that the government
ban take action against the entire group. The government had long resisted
banning Jemaah Islamiah, fearing a backlash from Islamic conservatives. The
government was heavily criticized at home and abroad for the Ahmadiyah banning,
especially with the burning of a Ahmadiyah mosque this week, but a mob of
Islamic radicals. The government is now reconsidering the ban.
is withdrawing 21 percent of its 950 peacekeepers in East Timor.
2008: East Timor rebel leader Gastao Salsinha and eleven of his followers have
surrendered. Salsinha has led the Reinado rebel group, which has fallen apart,
since its leader and founder, Alfredo Reinado, was killed in February. The Reinado
group were a major source of unrest in East Timor. The main problems remaining
are all criminal gangs.
2008: Three East Timorese rebels were arrested in West Timor. The dead East Timorese
rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was found to have had nearly a million dollars in
an Australian bank, and an Australian girlfriend who was providing logistical
support. Reinado and his followers were also found to have close ties with a
leading East Timor gang leader.