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Persecuted Indonesian Christians
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sundubuman



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:37 am    Post subject: Persecuted Indonesian Christians Reply with quote

20 Christians were blown to pieces today in Central Sulawesi.

Christians in Indonesia
Allowing persecution to happen.
By Julia Duin, an assistant national editor at the Washington Times
January 2, 2002 9:15 a.m.


first became aware of central Indonesia eleven years ago, when I bought a map in an airport shop in Cebu, in the middle of the Philippines. A portion of this 17,000-mile archipelago was taken up by a huge island shaped like a pinwheel: Sulawesi. In 1999, horrific stories about Christian persecution in that part of the world started to leak out. A radical Islamic group called Laskar Jihad was terrorizing Christians in a group of islands called the Moluccas, just east of Sulawesi. Christians who refused to convert to Islam were killed; those who did convert were then separated from their families, given Muslim names, and forcibly circumcised — without anaesthetic, and with dirty instruments. Scissors were used on the adults. They were then told to wash in the sea to disinfect their wounds. The women underwent female genital circumcision.

Why, I wondered, weren't journalists reporting on this tragedy? It turns out that getting a journalist's visa to enter that part of the country is next to impossible. One has to first go to Jakarta to state the purpose of one's trip, and then wait for approval. But there are planes or ferryboats to these islands daily, so a truly dedicated reporter could slip in. One gets the impression that, when it's Christians being murdered or tortured, the international press isn't really interested. That's how Joanna Milosz — a member of the London-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide who recently traveled around the Moluccas — sees it: "The whole Moluccas conflict has been fraught with misinformation from the beginning," she says. "The Western press goes overboard in being sensitive to the Muslim community. They do not want to be Islamophobic, so they ignore the realities of the situation. What has been so astounding is how few other Indonesians know what the actual situation is. The Bacan-Seram islands are where people have faced forced conversions and circumcisions. Christians are subject to especially severe circumcisions. I've heard reports of them doing it to girls as young as 2."

I e-mailed a journalist in Jakarta who works for a respected international magazine, asking her about the refugee camps that ring the area. At least 5,000 people have died in the fighting between Muslims and Christians, and nearly half a million have been driven from their homes. Many of them are in refugee camps; the camp in Manado, a mainly Christian city on the northeastern tip of Sulawesi, alone numbers 50,000.

"I've been to many refugee camps in Manado and surrounding areas," she wrote me back. "The government does as little as they can. It's a diabolical situation that does not get much attention."

I kept on reading horror stories — mostly from Christian mission organizations monitoring the area, as they seemed to be the only ones brave enough to venture into the region. One Washington, D.C.-based group, International Christian Concern, interviewed a woman with a horribly disfigured face who had been attacked in Duma, a Moluccan village on the island of Halmahera.

"When I saw the jihad warriors approaching," the woman told the interviewer, "I cried out, 'Lord help me.' Then a jihad warrior came up to me and said, 'I'll show you how God helps you,' and then placed the pistol in my mouth and pulled the trigger."

The same interviewer met a twelve-year-old boy named Noledy on the same island. The boy had seen his parents hacked with machetes, then buried alive by jihadists. He managed to escape into the jungles, where he wandered for about a week before encountering other Christian refugees. Indonesian Christians on other islands have made cloak-and-dagger missions to these islands by boat to rescue such people; to date, about 2,700 have benefited from the boat rescues. Another 6,000 still need help.

Why have journalists ignored a group that equals the Taliban in cruelty? Laskar Jihad even have their own website, where they blame "Christian priests" for carrying out mission activities against their Muslim brethren. Their propaganda tells of Muslims who have been attacked and tortured by Christians. The Islamist group is involved in importing warriors into various trouble spots around the Indonesian islands. They had already made Ambon, an island in the southern Moluccas, a living hell for Christians, and starting a few months ago, they aimed their sights farther north. Their goal: Sulawesi.

Sulawesi is 1,000 miles east of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital. As for the government sending in its own military to keep the peace, the Indonesian military is not known for its fairness and impartiality — as the world saw in East Timor's fight for independence. The navy and air force are trustworthy, but the army — which leans heavily to the side of the Muslims — is fearsome to Christians.

Eighty-seven percent (174 million) of Indonesia's 201 million people are Muslim — the largest Muslim population of any country in the world. The goal of Laskar Jihad and like-minded radicals is to make Islam the country's official religion, and to impose sharia law. It already exists in Ternate, a small island-city just off of Halmahera. Christian pastors unfortunate enough to be discovered in the area simply get beheaded.

Steven Snyder of International Christian Concern and Dr. David Harding, a Maryland physician, recently visited Sulawesi to examine the situation there. They came back nine days later with a horror story: 7,000 jihad warriors were amassing to attack Christians in central Sulawesi, specifically Tentena, a lakeside city of 63,000 — about 28,000 of them refugees from around the island. Like the Israelites defending Jerusalem's walls during the time of the prophet Nehemiah, the men of the city were posted about city limits with whatever weapons they could scrounge up, while the women and children had gathered their belongings for a possible flight into the jungle. The 35 policemen in town had a total of three rifles.

The two men, plus an Australian translator who knows the island intimately, got through to Tentena with the help of an eight-man military escort. The worst part was the 70-mile drive from Poso, a larger city on the coast, south into Tentena. Along the way they saw burned-out Christian villages, and roadblocks with signs that read "jihad post." The men lounging by them carried AK-47s.

"Our police escorts were petrified," Mr. Snyder says. "We stopped at one jihad post and offered them coffee if we could take photos. They didn't know what to make of us; all these white guys emerging from behind a car with tinted windows." Somehow they got through, only to discover legions of sick and homeless in Tentena.

"Dr. Harding saw a seven-month-old baby that looked about three weeks old. She had only been fed with sugar water," Mr. Snyder says. "The pharmacy there was pretty pathetic, too."

They stayed for several days, interviewing residents and police, who told them that a boatload of 1,000 Laskar Jihad had arrived on the island just before they came — and that another was due the following week. The Indonesian Islamists have direct links to international Islamic extremists, including those in Afghanistan and in Osama bin Laden's network. Six Afghani and Pakistani "visitors" had been seen in the area when Harding and Snyder were there. Indonesian mujahedeen had fought in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and the jihad posts had bin Laden's picture on them. An Australian magazine, Tempo, reported in October that trainers from Bosnia as well as Afghanistan were working with Laskar Jihad.

In addition, Baroness Carolyn Cox, Deputy Speaker of the British House of Lords, who heads up Christian Solidarity Worldwide, met up with some Afghan jihadists when she visited Ambon two months ago.

"They weren't there for a picnic," she said. The head of Laskar Jihad, Jafar Umar Thalib, is said to be a disciple of bin Laden's.

Now back in the United States, Mr. Snyder is pressing for some response from the American government in the matter of Tentena's beleaguered Christians. Megawati Sukarnoputri was one of the first foreign leaders to visit the United States after the terrorist attacks, and she was rewarded with a $130 million aid package. An additional $10 million was given to her by President Bush for assisting refugees, particularly in the Moluccas. And, with congressional approval, another $10 million will go for police training.

But to what end? The police almost always take the side of the Muslim majority in these conflicts, and have apparently helped arm groups like Laskar Jihad. Furthermore, they have stood by while Russian arms shipments purchased through Philippine channels have arrived at various island depots.

Not all Indonesian Muslims embrace Laskar Jihad. In Tentena, 31 Muslim families live in peace with their neighbors. But Indonesia's radical Muslims elicit little more than a yawn from most quarters. At a reception for journalists, held in December at the vice president's mansion, I asked Dick Cheney if he was aware of the problem. No, he was not. "Forgive me for being cynical," my journalist contact in Jakarta wrote me, "but stories on Muslim radicals in Indonesia are a dime a dozen."

But the tortured and persecuted are not a dime a dozen. By mid-December, some government forces, ranging from 2,000-4,000 troops, had flooded the Poso-Tentena reason, making it impossible for Laskar Jihad to achieve their goal of domination of central Sulawesi by the end of Ramadan on Dec. 16. So Laskar Jihad will simply wait. They've been at this for several years now, and their supreme commander, Jafar Umar Thalib, remains at large. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of refugees are sick and homeless because evil will happen, as the saying goes, if good men are content to do nothing.

"We were able to board our plane and depart in safety," Mr. Snyder says, "but our hearts cried out for our dear brothers and sisters trapped in the district of Poso. Many are simple peasants, farmers, fishermen and villagers. They are defenseless, weaponless and confused. They know nothing of all the political, religious or financial manipulations going on. Their only hope is that God will intervene."
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wannago



Joined: 16 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C'mon sundubman, you know better than to think that a story about Christians being killed will get any traction on this board.
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Cthulhu



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently we are morally if not legally required to respond to every topic in this forum. Y'know wannago, I see a lot of posts made by people on the left that go without response as well.
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jaganath69



Joined: 17 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, its terrible, what point are you trying to make though? For the record, I called my fiance in Indonesia and she is as shocked as I am. We are both Muslims (me recently converted) and we have many friends of other religions there, as do most Indonesians. Quite often this kind of violence has political undertones and the motives run deeper than just plain political violence. I don't know what your (OP's) intent is by posting this, but using it to score points against the left (of which I am NOT) a member, is pretty lame, if that is what you wanted to do.
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bigverne



Joined: 12 May 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the point the OP was trying to make is summed up in this quote from the article.

Quote:
One gets the impression that, when it's Christians being murdered or tortured, the international press isn't really interested.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

digging up a story that happened in 1999? My goodness.

Desperate times call for desperate measures? Confused

You harp on how hell-bent muslims are on killing people of other faiths and how barbaric they are.

Yet what are you doing? Focusing on hate.

Disgusting.
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sundubuman



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What???

The Christians were blown up this week. Meanwhile, in Jakarta, Muslim protesters were chanting anti-American slogans by the thousands.

LEt's see, American soldiers somehow mishandle the Koran, worldwide anger...

20 Chrisitans get blown up in Indonesia, 25 Shiites get blown up in Pakistan, another 25 Iraqis are blown up in Iraq...

and where's the indignation.

Oh, I forgot, it's all Israel and America's fault. I see now.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are reports of sectarian violence in the media all the time. Moslem vs Jew; Hindu vs Moslem; Moslem vs Christian. I read reports on the violence in Indonesia a couple of years ago. I read the reports of the missionary and his son in India getting burned to death in their car. I saw the new reports from Indonesia today.

I think sadness is a more appropriate reaction than indignation. Sue me.
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jaganath69



Joined: 17 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think sadness is a more appropriate reaction than indignation. Sue me.


Spot on.
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Leslie Cheswyck



Joined: 31 May 2003
Location: University of Western Chile

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
digging up a story that happened in 1999? My goodness.


I'll remember that next time you bring up the Crusades...or some other such nonsense excuse for Muslim atrocities.
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dulouz



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: Uranus

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Palestinians used Bible as toilet paper
Muslims' desecration of holy book received little notice

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

While Muslims have responded with deadly outrage to the now-retracted report by Newsweek of alleged Quran desecration by U.S. interrogators, there was little outcry three years ago when Islamic terrorists holed up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity reportedly used the Bible as toilet paper.

Catholic priests in the church marking the spot where Jesus was believed to have been born said that during the five-week siege, Palestinians tore up some Bibles for toilet paper and removed many valuable sacramental objects, according to a May 15, 2002, report by the Washington Times.

Newsweek is under fire for a report in its May 9 edition that sparked protests and rioting across the Muslim world resulting in 17 dead, scores injured, relief buildings burned down and a setback to years of coalition-building against terrorists.

Newsweek's Periscope column written by Michael Isikoff and John Barry included a brief item alleging U.S. military investigators at the Guantanamo Bay prison found evidence that interrogators placed copies of the Quran down the toilet in an effort to get prisoners to talk.

Despite Newsweek's retraction, the outrage in the Muslim world continues.

In Saudi Arabia yesterday, the country's top religious authority, Grand Mufti Adul-Aziz al-Sheik, condemned the alleged desecration and called for an investigation "to alleviate the sorrow that befell Muslims."

"We condemn and denounce this criminal act against Muslims' most sacred item," al-Sheik said.

Afghanistan's government said Newsweek should be held responsible for damages caused by the demonstrations, and Pakistan said the magazine's apology and retraction were "not enough."

In contrast, during the 2002 church siege, the muted complaints of Christians under the Muslim-dominated Palestinian Authority gained little traction.

The Palestinian gunmen, members of Yasser Arafat's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, seized church stockpiles of food and "ate like greedy monsters" until the food ran out, while more than 150 civilians went hungry, the Washington Times report said.

The indulgence lasted about two weeks into the 39-day siege, when the food and drink ran out, according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests trapped inside. A church helper told the Times the quantity of food consumed by the gunmen in the first 15 days should have lasted six months.

Angry Orthodox priests showed reporters empty bottles of whiskey, champagne, vodka, cognac and French wine on the floor along with hundreds of cigarette butts.

"They should be ashamed of themselves. They acted like animals, like greedy monsters. Come, I will show you more," said one priest, who declined to give his name.

Computers were taken apart and a television set dismantled for use as a hiding place for weapons.

"You can see what repayment we got for 'hosting' these so-called guests," said Archbishop Ironius, according to the Times report.
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Apple Scruff



Joined: 29 Oct 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it's absolutely ludicrous and hypocritical for Muslim fundamentalists to cry foul about their religious symbols being desecrated, it's also pretty gullible for people to think that it's out-of-the-question that the American military would do things like this, considering what we know about Abu Ghraib and the like.

Let's all just sit back and watch the two sides destroy each other. Maybe we rational human beings can live in peace after that.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple The first part of your post made sense - the second part was dumb.

You tell us that you think the US military is the equivalent of militant fundamentalists?

By the way the fundamentalists don't intend to let you be.

Ever heard of Al Mujaharoun ?- They want to overthrow the government in the UK What they want is what Osma Bin Laden wants.


Last edited by Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee on Sat May 28, 2005 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dulouz



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: Uranus

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AS,

Oh, yes, Abu Graib. What about Abu Graib? Every time you face a uncomfortable position, you can belch out "Abu Graib" and you are supposed to win everytime. How long do you think that will last as a bully point? Its not a discussion point, it's a bully point and as such does more harm than good. You are going to have to get beyond that. I'm sure than more a few people in that market would really like to trade a
an a butt pyramid for the bomb they had forced on them for the crime of shopping for dinner vegetables. You had to the chance to value human life but it seems if its Christian, its worth less. Thats not what you said, thats what you did and thats the best judge of character.
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Apple Scruff



Joined: 29 Oct 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dulouz wrote:
AS,

Oh, yes, Abu Graib. What about Abu Graib? Every time you face a uncomfortable position, you can belch out "Abu Graib" and you are supposed to win everytime. How long do you think that will last as a bully point? Its not a discussion point, it's a bully point and as such does more harm than good. You are going to have to get beyond that. I'm sure than more a few people in that market would really like to trade a
an a butt pyramid for the bomb they had forced on them for the crime of shopping for dinner vegetables. You had to the chance to value human life but it seems if its Christian, its worth less. Thats not what you said, thats what you did and thats the best judge of character.


What do you mean "What about Abu Ghraib"? Nothing you just said has anything to do with anything. Nobody said anything about getting their jollies from seeing Christians blown to pieces. Abu Ghraib isn't simply a "bully point" - it's clear evidence of the periodic and serious lapses in judgement made by the individuals in the American military, thus my point about the real possibility that the Koran allegations have merit. Judge my character however you see fit. I couldn't care less about what you think of me.
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