12 April 2014, Those paragons of virtue and bravery, the FPI and a bunch of other local louts attacked three Ahmadiyah mosques in Cianjur, West Java.
We should not be surprised as two of the great myths of Indonesia are:
1. Indonesia is a democracy.
2. Indonesia is religiously tolerant.
The first myth is a little more difficult to disprove than the second. Suffice to say that Indonesian politics is shallow and the entire system exists for the protection of very small group of elite Robber Barron with the little people merely grist for the mill.
The second myth is such palpable nonsense it beggars belief that a veritable conga line of Western Leaders including Obama, Rudd and Gillard fall over themselves lauding Indonesia’s religious tolerance.
OK for starters, the State arrogantly decrees only six religious shall be officially recognized (curiously and only in Indonesia, Christians and Catholics get their own divisions). Literally dozens of churches have been looted, shuttered or burned over the past two years. The relatively lowly educated Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali in an endless parade of verbal nonsense continuously blames minorities for bringing the problem upon themselves.. Although to be fair to Ali, as you can see in the picture, he is apparently a confused old man not sure if he is Arab, Indonesian or something in between.
However, one should not think the religious violence and oppression is limited to anti-christian protests, as indicated above Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists anyone can find themselves on the bottom of state sanctioned muggings and there seems little will to change things.
Make no mistake, the FPI and their cowardly clones are state sanctioned and funded. It is reported that the “FPI might have taken justice into their own hands because of their alleged closeness with West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan and is related to the memorandum of understanding between the FPI and Ahmad Heryawan when he was campaigning as a governor candidate,”
Sadly and to Indonesia’s shame, the general public (with exception of the Dayaks in Kalimantan) continue tolerate these FPI bullies and thugs. Until (or if) that changes then Indonesia will continue its downward spiral into a cesspool of hate and intolerance. Then again middle class and educated in Indonesia means you drink at Starbucks and own three handphones not that you are socially aware or compassionate.
Frankly one despairs if Indonesia will ever stand up to these culture and tradition vandals.
- Indonesia: Religious Minorities Targets of Rising Violence (hrw.org)
- Islamic Defenders Front (drgarbajs.wordpress.com)