"Moderate" Indonesia? I Don't Think So

Annie

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http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/185018.php
October 16, 2006
Boycott Indonesia--Stop Murdering Christians Now!

Civil war is in the air in Indonesia. Christians are daily being slaughtered and the government does little to protect them.

Two of our longtime blog-friends, Stan the Infidel and Big White Infidel, are furious over the treatment of Christians in Indonesia. What the media paints as 'sectarian violence' is really Muslim persecution of Christian minorities.

Stan and Big White are headed to Rev. Irianto Kongkoli's funeral in Palu. Rev. Kongkoli was a Christian minister gunned down in public early this morning. This comes on the heels of a bombing on Saturday and after three Christians were executed for their alleged participation in sectarian violence. Violence that has largely targetted Christians and over which no Muslim has been prosecuted.

If their reaction is any gauge of Christian sentiment in Indonesia, then expect an escalation of the violence. Especially pay attention to Stan's extended comments here.


I would urge the Christians of Indonesia, and especially our friends Stan and Big White, towards self-restraint and non-violence. Not that I am a pacifist, I am not, but I am a realist. One should only fight battles if they can win. This is not a battle that can be won through violence.

There is something that you can do to show your solidarity with Indonesia's persecuted Christians. Boycott Indonesia.

Write your Congressman.

Write the Indonesian embassy or call (202) 775 - 5200

Write the consular section of the U.S. embassy, Jakarta.

Next time you're in WalMart, be sure to check that label. Don't buy Indonesian.

I fear that if the international community does not immediately and successfully pressure the Indonesian government to protect its Christian minorities with more than lip service, that serious violence and civil war will erupt. A war with only one possible outcome: increased persecution and the mass killings of Christians.

Indonesia is very sensitive to public criticisms. The government spends a lot of time engaged in propaganda intended to show that country as a shining example of what moderate Islam looks like. So, public pressure may just work in this instance.


Please do what you can to help.

UPDATE: Beth Cleaver whips us up an image

indonesia.jpg

and one for the sidebar

indonesiaSM.jpg

By Dr. Rusty Shackleford at October 16, 2006 01:37 PM
Comments are free, but...
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006121.htm

19 million Muslims for jihad
...and that's just in Indonesia
By Michelle Malkin · October 15, 2006 10:00 PM

First, read the latest headline:

One in 10 Indonesia Muslims back violent jihad: poll

The details:

Around one in 10 Indonesian Muslims support jihad and justify bomb attacks on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali as defending the faith, a survey released on Sunday showed.

Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, with 220 million people, 85 percent of whom follow Islam, giving the Asian archipelago the largest Muslim population of any nation in the world.

"Jihad that has been understood partially and practiced with violence is justified by around one in 10 Indonesian Muslims," the Indonesian Survey Institute said in a statement.


"They approved the bombings conducted ... in Bali with the excuse of defending Islam," it added, saying the percentage of such support "is very significant."

While the vast majority of Indonesia's Muslims are relatively moderate, there has been an increasingly vocal militant minority and political pressure for more laws that are in line with hardline Muslim teachings.

The poll surveyed a random sample of 1,092 Muslim men and women.

Now, some quick math:

220 million Indonesians.

85 percent of them Muslim.

1 in 10 of those Muslims support suicide bombings to "defend their faith." (As Robert Spencer notes, "that's just those who are willing to tell a pollster something that they would know the government would not likely be happy to hear.")

So, that's 19 million Muslims for violent jihad in "moderate" Indonesia alone.

Another survey published over the summer underscores the myth of "moderate" Muslim Indonesia. The Washington Times editorialized:

More than two-thirds of Indonesians favor the country's current secular system of law, according to a privately funded nationwide survey by the Indonesian Survey Circle, a pollster. If that seems like good news, read it this way: This means there are "only" about 82 million Indonesians who favor Shariah. Approximately 216 million out of Indonesia's approximately 246 million inhabitants, or nearly nine-tenths of the population, are Muslims. And while Indonesia's religious and cultural climate is justifiably regarded as moderate in comparison to much of the rest of the Muslim world -- and its government is a very useful ally against terrorism -- the numbers still leave plenty of room for concern.

Just over two-thirds of respondents disapprove of the death penalty for those who renounce Islam, according to the survey, which was first reported by Rupert Murdoch's www.news.com.au. More than three-quarters of Indonesians disapprove of mandatory head scarves. Nearly two-thirds oppose stoning for adultery. More than 75 percent are against severing the hands of thieves.

When the aggregate numbers of people are factored in, the study looks considerably more disturbing. If one-quarter of Indonesians favor cutting off the hands of thieves, it suggests that upwards of 60 million Indonesians favor the practice. If roughly 164 million Indonesians oppose stoning adulterers, it means that more than 80 million favor doing so.​

Add those jihadi-endorsing and sharia-embracing masses to these Muslims polled in Britain in July:

13% of British Muslims think that the four men who carried out the London Tube and bus bombings of July 7 2005 should be regarded as “martyrs”

7% agree that suicide attacks on civilians in the UK can be justified in some circumstances, rising to 16 per cent for a military target

16% of British Muslims say that while the attacks may have been wrong, the cause was right

16% would be “indifferent” if a family member decided to join al-Qaeda and two per cent would be proud​

And toss in these European Muslims polled by Pew in June:

pewmuslims.jpg

Small minority? Only if you use Dhimmi Math.

***

amalone.jpg

As Mark Steyn emphasizes in his superb new book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It (launches tomorrow), it's the demographics, stupid. While the West hyperventilated about overpopulation, the Muslim world got busy. In 1970, Steyn points out, developed nations had twice as big a share of the global population as the Muslim world: 30 percent to 15 percent. By 2000, they were on par with about 20 percent. And things ain't looking up, fertility-rate-wise, for the non-Muslim population. Coupled with the decline of the modern social-democratic state and what he calls "civilizational exhaustion," those numbers spell trouble.

Steyn:

You don't have to subscribe to the view that every Muslim is a jihadist nutcake eager to hijack a 747 and head for the nearest tall building to acknolwedge that at the very minimum these population trends put a large question mark over the future.

Linda Frum interviewed Steyn for the National Post and this q and a says it all for me (my daughter is six, too):

LF: Your book is very gloomy. After I read it, I glanced over at my three-year-old daughter and was filled with fear for her future.

MS: Well, I'm in this for the three year-olds. My youngest child is six now, but my little girl and your little girl, when they're our age, they will find a large number of places in what we think of as the free world, the developed world, far less congenial than we would. I mean, you and I would think nothing of hopping on a plane, going to London, Paris or Berlin. Those are going to be very uncomfortable places for a young, middle-aged Western woman circa 2020, 2030, and it's precisely because we've taken for granted this very unusual period in history. We take it for granted that it's a permanent state of affairs. It isn't. It requires incredible vigilance and incredible effort to preserve it.​

And, as Steyn writes in his book, it starts with a simple decision:

Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we've led since 1945 in the Western world is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid, and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending.​

Nineteen million Muslims in Indonesia alone have made up their minds. Is it already too late for us?

***

Hard thinking about hard solutions brings me back to Diana West's call for an anti-sharia agenda. Re-read the whole thing. See also some of the sobering comments of British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt (via Jihad Watch).

***

Final note: You've heard the latest excuse for The Religion of Perpetual Outrage, right? Yep.
Olympics Rage!

Cue up that R.E.M. video
 

NATO AIR

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1. Utter Bullshit.

2. Utter Ignorance Of Indonesian History & Current Events

3. Utterly Counter-Productive

Much of what amounts to Islam in Indonesia is a cross between Islamic tenets of prayer and animalistic, pagan (shaman style? is that the word, i'm drawing a blank here) ancient traditions.

This is the majority of the population, the largest Muslim majority country in the world, where most of the population drinks often, increasingly enjoys secular entertainment ranging from booty music to provocative dress of female actresses and views the fundamentalist parties with contempt and fear.

The fact that there is a substantial minority in the country who support jihad and the fundamentalist parties are that these are the people who have been co-opted by the same social provider structure Hezbollah & Hamas excel so well at, albeit this is a 100% Saudi/Wahabbi backed venture.

This relates directly to the economic disasters that befell the country in the late 1990's, not to mention the obligatory corruption and decay of a third world dictatorship into a third world democracy.

The fact that by and large America has done jack shit for the Indonesian government to begin to control its security situation over the past five years dates back to Clinton-era worship of that famous false god, 3rd world democracy, and Sen. Jeffords's multiple laws that prevent everyone from the Secret Service to the US Marines to provide capable and substantive training and develop relationships with Indonesian military and security forces.

Re Indonesian sectarian warfare. Read up the history of Indonesia, examine the current population pressures, the wave of militia groups that have proliferated in the absence of effective security from the Indonesian government, etc. These particular Christians are guilty as sin for plotting to kill Muslims and others. Yep, its quite the holy war on some of those separtist islands like Aceh and Sumatra, but island by island, the government is taking them back and co-opting, imprisoning and out right killing the violent troublemakers on all sides.

Boycott Indonesia? Let's boycott ignorant asses like Malkin who have no idea of the history, culture or even religious nature of the countries cows like her go out of their way to slander w/o the slightest background info.
 
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Annie

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1. Utter Bullshit.

2. Utter Ignorance Of Indonesian History & Current Events

3. Utterly Counter-Productive

Much of what amounts to Islam in Indonesia is a cross between Islamic tenets of prayer and animalistic, pagan (shaman style? is that the word, i'm drawing a blank here) ancient traditions.

This is the majority of the population, the largest Muslim majority country in the world, where most of the population drinks often, increasingly enjoys secular entertainment ranging from booty music to provocative dress of female actresses and views the fundamentalist parties with contempt and fear.

The fact that there is a substantial minority in the country who support jihad and the fundamentalist parties are that these are the people who have been co-opted by the same social provider structure Hezbollah & Hamas excel so well at, albeit this is a 100% Saudi/Wahabbi backed venture.

This relates directly to the economic disasters that befell the country in the late 1990's, not to mention the obligatory corruption and decay of a third world dictatorship into a third world democracy.

The fact that by and large America has done jack shit for the Indonesian government to begin to control its security situation over the past five years dates back to Clinton-era worship of that famous false god, 3rd world democracy, and Sen. Jeffords's multiple laws that prevent everyone from the Secret Service to the US Marines to provide capable and substantive training and develop relationships with Indonesian military and security forces.

Re Indonesian sectarian warfare. Read up the history of Indonesia, examine the current population pressures, the wave of militia groups that have proliferated in the absence of effective security from the Indonesian government, etc. These particular Christians are guilty as sin for plotting to kill Muslims and others. Yep, its quite the holy war on some of those separtist islands like Aceh and Sumatra, but island by island, the government is taking them back and co-opting, imprisoning and out right killing the violent troublemakers on all sides.

Boycott Indonesia? Let's boycott ignorant asses like Malkin who have no idea of the history, culture or even religious nature of the countries cows like her go out of their way to slander w/o the slightest background info.
Hey Eddie, I wish life was fair. That the US had wonderfully brilliant, honest leadership, regardless of the party in power. I'll even take our less than brilliant, less than honest politicos over Indonesia. However, unless you think it worth our while to 'invade' them, their government is really as much their problem as ours is ours.

With that said, considering the people's responses on terrorism and 'diversity' I think I'll choose not to buy from there for the forseeable future.
 

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Gee, talk about negative spin. Nevertheless most Indonesians favour more secular types of behaviour. And this was a poll. How accurate was it? What was the sample etc. As for not buying stuff, good luck with that - there is a shitload of stuff produced there that is sold to the western world. Most Indonesians, like most people anywhere. want a roof over their head and three squares a day. They don't have the luxury of thinking outside of their world, let alone the geopolitical situation in the region. The Christians and Muslims have always been at each others' throats. About the only ones who keep to themselves are the Hindu Balinese...

Yet another reason why I don't read Malkin...emotive pap with little or no substance...
 
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Annie

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Gee, talk about negative spin. Nevertheless most Indonesians favour more secular types of behaviour. And this was a poll. How accurate was it? What was the sample etc. As for not buying stuff, good luck with that - there is a shitload of stuff produced there that is sold to the western world. Most Indonesians, like most people anywhere. want a roof over their head and three squares a day. They don't have the luxury of thinking outside of their world, let alone the geopolitical situation in the region. The Christians and Muslims have always been at each others' throats. About the only ones who keep to themselves are the Hindu Balinese...

Yet another reason why I don't read Malkin...emotive pap with little or no substance...
Like much of what is put out by al Reuters and NY Times.
 

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Like much of what is put out by al Reuters and NY Times.
NY Times op-ed pieces? Possibly. Don't think Reuters does op-ed. Nothing emotive about their stuff. Just the facts as they know them at the time. Very rarely see any type of editorialising in their stuff.
 

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Hey Eddie, I wish life was fair. That the US had wonderfully brilliant, honest leadership, regardless of the party in power. I'll even take our less than brilliant, less than honest politicos over Indonesia. However, unless you think it worth our while to 'invade' them, their government is really as much their problem as ours is ours.

With that said, considering the people's responses on terrorism and 'diversity' I think I'll choose not to buy from there for the forseeable future.
Kathianne, guess what? Their government is OUR problem, if we give a damn about security in SE Asia, cooperation to sustain and even enhance our waning influence in Asia and the future of a successful Muslim majority country that can be a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless field in the Middle East and N. Africa.

We can make progress by working together with the Indonesians on security and intelligence, as we have slowly been now, recovering from the Clinton-era excesses, or we can give up because Michelle Malkin and her uninformed ilk say we should and that they're the experts on ALL Islam and all the world.

Informed commentary is always welcome, hers is more often a hodge podge of bullshit, like much of the blogosphere and the mass media.

Does Indonesia have serious problems? Certainly. Does the US have serious problems? Absolutely. Do we have COMMON problems? YEP! Do we have common hopes? Yep! So why not put the uninformed bullshit aside and work together, devoid of foolish idealism or ideology, and just with some tempered respect for seizing opportunities and addressing weaknesses.
 

onedomino

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NATO AIR said:
Much of what amounts to Islam in Indonesia is a cross between Islamic tenets of prayer and animalistic, pagan (shaman style? is that the word, i'm drawing a blank here) ancient traditions.
Here I can agree with you NATO. Islam is animalistic. By the way, how does animism excuse the fact that some Islamic Indonesians persecute Christians? Perhaps their animistic belief that natural objects have souls compels their hatred for soulless infidels. I feel better already. It makes one feel so superior and empathetic when he truly understands the animalistic nature of Indonesian Islamic culture. That souless infidel Michelle Malkin is filled with "utter bullshit," just like some of the posts in this thread.
-
 
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Annie

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Kathianne, guess what? Their government is OUR problem, if we give a damn about security in SE Asia, cooperation to sustain and even enhance our waning influence in Asia and the future of a successful Muslim majority country that can be a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless field in the Middle East and N. Africa.

We can make progress by working together with the Indonesians on security and intelligence, as we have slowly been now, recovering from the Clinton-era excesses, or we can give up because Michelle Malkin and her uninformed ilk say we should and that they're the experts on ALL Islam and all the world.

Informed commentary is always welcome, hers is more often a hodge podge of bullshit, like much of the blogosphere and the mass media.

Does Indonesia have serious problems? Certainly. Does the US have serious problems? Absolutely. Do we have COMMON problems? YEP! Do we have common hopes? Yep! So why not put the uninformed bullshit aside and work together, devoid of foolish idealism or ideology, and just with some tempered respect for seizing opportunities and addressing weaknesses.
Eddie, I am all open to any ideas that will make the world a better place, though I think it's way late in the game to be taking on the fights of people who do not wish to work with the US, to them I'm now of the mindset of saying, 'fine, we will leave you alone.' Not invade, not coerce, just leave them alone.

Surely more than a bit of the problems have stemmed from our own errors in the past, no doubt of that. However, what I'm really tired of is that we've not been alone in making errors, only in trying to move up to the present situation. Others wish to fight a war on our 'mistakes of the past.' Which is certainly working for them. So for me, I'm for, 'ok, we'll leave you alone.'

We have our own cleaning up problems to deal with, starting with State and CIA. Then we should deal with threats to ourselves and our real allies, which number below probably 50.
 
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Annie

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NY Times op-ed pieces? Possibly. Don't think Reuters does op-ed. Nothing emotive about their stuff. Just the facts as they know them at the time. Very rarely see any type of editorialising in their stuff.
Not only the op-eds, it's in their 'news' pieces, but then you happen to agree, so you're probably not catching the editorializing.
 

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Eddie, I am all open to any ideas that will make the world a better place, though I think it's way late in the game to be taking on the fights of people who do not wish to work with the US, to them I'm now of the mindset of saying, 'fine, we will leave you alone.' Not invade, not coerce, just leave them alone.

Surely more than a bit of the problems have stemmed from our own errors in the past, no doubt of that. However, what I'm really tired of is that we've not been alone in making errors, only in trying to move up to the present situation. Others wish to fight a war on our 'mistakes of the past.' Which is certainly working for them. So for me, I'm for, 'ok, we'll leave you alone.'

We have our own cleaning up problems to deal with, starting with State and CIA. Then we should deal with threats to ourselves and our real allies, which number below probably 50.

We don't have the luxury of leaving Indonesia alone. I would argue leaving Indonesia alone and to deny the government and people the help they want, need and deserve would be as bad as withdrawing from Iraq by next month. We can't give up on the world's largest Muslim democracy, especially at a time when democracy and laws there are actually beginning to take hold, bloody and messy as they may be at this time. This is not Iraq, with a civil war, it is an empire-state just beginning to stabilize for the long-term and only beginning to learn and use wise applications of its power, influence and policies on its thousands of islands and dozens of minority ethnic groups.

There is hope here, at a low cost of American security and police training, American business investment and American advice and friendship with a "long view".

For those like Onedomino and Michelle Malkin who have literally no understanding of Javanese culture, religions and ethnic groups, my sympathies that they don't see the opportunities and possibilities that exist for us in Indonesia to shape and cultivate a modern Muslim democracy from its toddler steps to a young adulthood of hope and stabliity.

The worst killings in Indonesia are between Muslims and Muslims, related to Javanese Muslims and the islanders (Muslims, Christians, animists, Buddhists) they displace when they immigrate from Java to outlying islands.

Indonesian Islam is in no way monolithic, it was indeed first spread by the wealthy example of traders, not by the sword of invaders, as in other less fortunate countries. It has been mutated and altered through the various customs and cultures of countless ethnic groups in various geographic regions of the Javanese Empire, and today is such a convulted mess of contrasting traditions and beliefs that Saudi fundamentalists who have spread the more violent form of Wahabbi Islam that has infected a small minority in Indonesia loathe the country's masses for their "idolatry and ignorance".
 
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We don't have the luxury of leaving Indonesia alone. I would argue leaving Indonesia alone and to deny the government and people the help they want, need and deserve would be as bad as withdrawing from Iraq by next month. We can't give up on the world's largest Muslim democracy, especially at a time when democracy and laws there are actually beginning to take hold, bloody and messy as they may be at this time. This is not Iraq, with a civil war, it is an empire-state just beginning to stabilize for the long-term and only beginning to learn and use wise applications of its power, influence and policies on its thousands of islands and dozens of minority ethnic groups.

There is hope here, at a low cost of American security and police training, American business investment and American advice and friendship with a "long view".

For those like Onedomino and Michelle Malkin who have literally no understanding of Javanese culture, religions and ethnic groups, my sympathies that they don't see the opportunities and possibilities that exist for us in Indonesia to shape and cultivate a modern Muslim democracy from its toddler steps to a young adulthood of hope and stabliity.

The worst killings in Indonesia are between Muslims and Muslims, related to Javanese Muslims and the islanders (Muslims, Christians, animists, Buddhists) they displace when they immigrate from Java to outlying islands.

Indonesian Islam is in no way monolithic, it was indeed first spread by the wealthy example of traders, not by the sword of invaders, as in other less fortunate countries. It has been mutated and altered through the various customs and cultures of countless ethnic groups in various geographic regions of the Javanese Empire, and today is such a convulted mess of contrasting traditions and beliefs that Saudi fundamentalists who have spread the more violent form of Wahabbi Islam that has infected a small minority in Indonesia loathe the country's masses for their "idolatry and ignorance".
We have whatever 'luxuries' we choose to have. I'd rather go down in a fell swoop by China, India, whoever, then be nibbled on by the likes of Indonesia or Venezuala. Seriously Eddie, I think the 'have nots' better start choosing, cause the 'haves' are going to. With that said, do you really question that the start of a WW are upon us?
 

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We have whatever 'luxuries' we choose to have. I'd rather go down in a fell swoop by China, India, whoever, then be nibbled on by the likes of Indonesia or Venezuala. Seriously Eddie, I think the 'have nots' better start choosing, cause the 'haves' are going to. With that said, do you really question that the start of a WW are upon us?
We have squandered our power for too long. Meanwhile, our enemies fail to seize the day. There is still great hope. We still have common interests with China, India, Europe, Brazil, South Africa and many other countries. We can still have alliances and even beneficial partnerships with many a country.

I'm not a pessimist. We are in a struggle that is not a war but a 3-dimensional contest that will be fought for decades. Our enemies are not very good at the game either, look at the missteps of Chavez, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, North Korea, etc, all in recent years. They may learn from their mistakes, as the Taliban have, but that should just be more incentive for us to realize our mistakes and correct them as well as not repeating them in the future.

The first step is recognizing and rewarding our allies. We have some damn fine allies in SE Asia, from Singapore to Thailand, and I see great hope in our work with Malaysia and Indonesia, and having been to all 4 countries now, I seriously see the potential in the latter two, especially with their populations that are defined far more by their ethnicity and tradition than their Muslim faith.

Or you can give the country to the Saudis?

To me that is a defeatism of the highest order. You don't give up golden opportunities or leave friends in the lurch. Now you're talking like Pelosi does on Iraq.
 
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We have squandered our power for too long. Meanwhile, our enemies fail to seize the day. There is still great hope. We still have common interests with China, India, Europe, Brazil, South Africa and many other countries. We can still have alliances and even beneficial partnerships with many a country.

I'm not a pessimist. We are in a struggle that is not a war but a 3-dimensional contest that will be fought for decades. Our enemies are not very good at the game either, look at the missteps of Chavez, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, North Korea, etc, all in recent years. They may learn from their mistakes, as the Taliban have, but that should just be more incentive for us to realize our mistakes and correct them as well as not repeating them in the future.

The first step is recognizing and rewarding our allies. We have some damn fine allies in SE Asia, from Singapore to Thailand, and I see great hope in our work with Malaysia and Indonesia, and having been to all 4 countries now, I seriously see the potential in the latter two, especially with their populations that are defined far more by their ethnicity and tradition than their Muslim faith.

Or you can give the country to the Saudis?

To me that is a defeatism of the highest order. You don't give up golden opportunities or leave friends in the lurch. Now you're talking like Pelosi does on Iraq.
I don't think I'm a pessimist, but I'm hardly a wide open optimist either. I don't see what you are seeing. In fact, quite the opposite for the most part. While you see 'moderates' I see those same people making things as difficult as possible, until their 'chance' arises. Perhaps I've become too disillusioned, but I fear the opposite for you.
 

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NATO AIR said:
For those like Onedomino and Michelle Malkin who have literally no understanding of Javanese culture, religions and ethnic groups, my sympathies that they don't see the opportunities and possibilities that exist for us in Indonesia to shape and cultivate a modern Muslim democracy from its toddler steps to a young adulthood of hope and stabliity.
Thanks for telling me about that which I have no understanding, you pompous... I have traveled to Jakarta, have you? And by the way, nowhere in my post do I argue for disengagement from Indonesia. In my post, I objected to an individual who did not know the difference between the words animalistic and animistic lecturing us with inflated, condescending rhetoric. You are telling me that I have no understanding of Indonesian culture? You have got a lot of unjustified nerve. Get a dictionary or an anthropology text. You said, “…Islamic tenets of prayer and animalistic, pagan (shaman style? is that the word, i'm drawing a blank here) ancient traditions.” When you start an argument with such an uninformed, embarrassing sentence, how can anyone give credibility to what you are saying? You were not just "drawing a blank," you were firing one.
 
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http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-10-23-voa23.cfm


Indonesia to Free Bali Bomber as Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Fitr
By Nancy-Amelia Collins
Jakarta
23 October 2006

Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of celebrations for the Eid al Fitr holiday at parangkusumo beach in Yogyakarta, October 23, 2006
Indonesian officials say they will release at least two Islamic militants in jail for involvement in the 2002 terrorist bombings on the resort island of Bali, to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

As Indonesians prepare to celebrate the holiday, Eid al-Fitr, prison officials say they will release at least two Muslim militants on Tuesday, the day most people will celebrate the end of the holy month.

Jakarta traditionally reduces prison sentences on holidays for prisoners who show good conduct.

Indonesia has suffered a series of bombings blamed on the al Qaida-linked regional terrorist organization, Jemaah Islamiyah. The government has arrested and jailed more than 300 Muslim militants, in an effort to combat terrorist attacks during the last four years.

Previous early releases of militants have prompted criticism of Indonesia from Australia and the United States.

This week in Indonesia, a secular nation ?????? with the world's largest Muslim population, few people will be thinking about terrorism, however. They will be flocking to the provinces to spend time with their families to mark Eid, also known as Lebaran in Indonesia.

Jaya, a 41-year-old businessman, has been living overseas for more than 20 years. He has just arrived in Jakarta from Bangkok, and is getting ready to take another flight to his hometown of Bengkulu on Sumatra island.

"I already booked a flight to go to Bengkulu on Tuesday and I'm going to give a surprise to my Mom on that day I come for Lebaran, so I'm sure she will be surprised," he said.

On the morning of Eid, Muslims gather together at mosques, fields and other open spaces to pray together.

After morning prayers, when Muslims are supposed to be reborn and pure from the previous month of fasting, the extended family gathers together to eat and celebrate.

In Indonesia, it is also tradition to visit the graves of relatives, and ask forgiveness from family members and friends for any wrongdoing committed during the past year.

Arcis, a single woman who works in Jakarta, will also be traveling to her family home in West Java to celebrate Eid.

"The most important thing for me is seeing my family," she said. "From a religious point of view, well, everyone is there. And we pray together. We go to the mosque together, and then we have our dinner, the whole family, the extended family. So, it feels beautiful."

While most Indonesians will begin Eid celebrations on Tuesday, members of Muhammadiyah, the nation's second largest Muslim organization began celebrations Monday, based on their astronomical calculations of the changing moon.
 

NATO AIR

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Thanks for telling me about that which I have no understanding, you pompous... I have traveled to Jakarta, have you? And by the way, nowhere in my post do I argue for disengagement from Indonesia. In my post, I objected to an individual who did not know the difference between the words animalistic and animistic lecturing us with inflated, condescending rhetoric. You are telling me that I have no understanding of Indonesian culture? You have got a lot of unjustified nerve. Get a dictionary or an anthropology text. You said, “…Islamic tenets of prayer and animalistic, pagan (shaman style? is that the word, i'm drawing a blank here) ancient traditions.” When you start an argument with such an uninformed, embarrassing sentence, how can anyone give credibility to what you are saying? You were not just "drawing a blank," you were firing one.
1. I have been to Jakarta (amazingly, never went to Bali, everyone else did), twice, been to three small Indonesian air bases and the surrounding areas (these not on the main island but near some of the former and some still simmering conflict zones) about four times in a three month period this past summer.
I serve with people who have been to various islands, including Aceh & Sumatra, as well as some of the smaller simmering flash point islands, in their duties as hospital corpsmen, intelligence specialists & logistics experts, two of whom did so as members of PACOM ceasefire observers with direct, lengthy contact with warring militias of varying religious devotions and ethnicities.
All of us agree with the view of Indonesia's Islamic culture as a very diverse organism that can not be easily defined or even co-opted by the most dilligent and intelligent forces of Islamic fundamentalism.

Indeed, given the competing factions of Saudi funded groups, Malaysian Islamic NGO's in Jakarta and elsewhere & the local groups with power centers and motivations all their own, the situation is even more diffuse than before, especially with continuing economic instability that makes things ever more fluid.

You are entitled to your opinion, as am I, but neither of us are entitled to our own facts, and an undeniable fact of Islam in Indonesia is that it does not follow one strain too closely nor would it even remotely pass the purity test of a Wahabbi Saudi.

2. I never take issue with people who fail to remember a term, let alone even misuse it, provided it is not meant in a malicious way. I get pissed when people confuse ethnic cleansing and genocide all the time, but I don't insinuate their stupidity because of it, especially in an informal setting like USMB. And please, remember I have to tone down the vocabulary in my writing at work because people in my momentary line of work don't prefer "big" words and complex terms, and so in keeping it simple, sometimes I make it stupid. My apologies for offending those with college educations and a knack for excellent grammar 100% of the time. I salute you as my superiors in this grammar and vocabulary endeavor.

3. When you or anyone else zooms narrow mindedly into "Acolyte of the Apocalypse" mode and makes terribly incorrect assumptions about facts and realities in other countries, especially the dozen or so I've been to and spent time in, I tend to get antsy and call you out. I won't deny Islam is all jacked up in the MENA, but out here on the frontiers, its healthy and quite diverse, really quite the muddle of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial cultures, traditions & histories. There is no monolithic jihad in Indonesia, in reality about a half-dozen substantial militias and terror groups of ill repute and serious danger who need to be watched and at a time when the government is more secure and more capable, steadily defanged and/or eliminated.
 
OP
Annie

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and Malaysia is by most measures, more economically and politically stable than Indonesia. Sharia law is still making its presence known:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/10/28/nation/15839442&sec=nation

Saturday October 28, 2006

Couple in khalwat raid may drop second home plan

By SIRA HABIBU

LANGKAWI: Retired American policeman Randal Barnhart, who was subjected to a 2am raid by religious enforcement officers, is reconsidering his plan to make Malaysia his second home.

“After that unpleasant episode two weeks ago, I do not feel like making Malaysia my second home. It is a pity because both my wife and I really love Langkawi,” he said.

On Oct 12, Barnhart, 62, and his wife Carole, 61, were in their rented condominium in Kuah when enforcement officers continuously knocked on their door at 2am, accusing them of committing khalwat (close proximity).

He said the officers demanded to see his marriage certificate, although he had told them that they were Christians and should not be subjected to Islamic law.

HAPPIER TIMES: Barnhart and his wife Carole posing for a picture during an outing. They felt humiliated by the raid by religious enforcement officers in Langkawi recently.
“We find it difficult to forget the unpleasant episode. My wife was so terrified by the incident that she fears sleeping in that condominium,” he added.

Banhart said the officers were rude and insisted on “seeing the woman” when he opened the door.

“My wife had to show herself despite only having a sarong on at that time. We felt humiliated for being treated this way,” he said.

He said he had to send his wife back to the United States on the next available flight because she feared people might return to the condominium to terrify her in the middle of the night.

She flew home on Wednesday.

“I want the religious department to apologise to me and my wife in writing,” he added.

“I also want the department to compensate the RM4,315 I had to pay for the return ticket so that my wife could go home.”

Banhart said he would be sailing to Thailand once his yacht was repaired.

State Religious and Humanity Development Committee chairman Professor Datuk Wira Dr Othman Ishak said he would investigate the matter.

“I was not aware of this case. I will ask the Religious Department head. We will get feedback from the vice-prevention squad in Langkawi before making comments,” he said.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said he would check with the state Religious Department to find out what really happened.

“I was not informed about this case. I will find out what really happened before making any comment,” he said.
 

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