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» 10/03/2005
INDONESIA
Indonesia's Muslims condemn Bali terrorist attack
by Moerkekaq Senggotro

Last night a large manifestation was held in Jakarta in memory of victims of the attack.  Indonesia's former president Gus Dur was among those gathered in the square.



Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Islamic community in Indonesia has reacted to the bombings in Bali by reiterating that the great majority of Muslims are against terrorism and do not identify with it.

In a press conference yesterday, Kiai Haj Hasyim Muzadi, president of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), condemned the "use of Islam (and of any other religion) as an ideology to carry out things which are totally against humanity and the essence of Islam". He emphasized: "Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam". Muzadi invited all of Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, to fight terrorism "hand in hand".

The equation that a Muslim equals a terrorist is worrying also to Syafii Maarif, former president of the second leading Muslim organization in the country, the

Muhammadiyah.

"These bloody actions go against humanity and against the values of Islam," he said. "These terrorists define themselves as Muslims but it is unacceptable. No religion could ever excuse such a bloody action against fellow humans." Maarif, a well-known Muslim scholar who takes a moderate stand, urged the terrorists to "cut off their identity of Muslims because their actions only tarnish the good image of Islam." The scholar then criticised the security forces for not managing to capture two Malaysian terrorists who are on the run, Azahari and Nordin M Top, suspected of masterminding the 1 October attack and that in Bali in 2002.

Meanwhile, the country's most influential leader, Abdurrahman Wahid, ranged himself on the side of the government. The former Indonesian president – better known as Gus Dur – defended the government, expressing his support in the fight against terrorism and the urgency of "stopping extremist activities" by Muslims. Gus Dur – a former NU president – urged people not to point to the central government as being responsible for the disaster. Many have in fact accused the authorities of not doing enough to prevent an attack, the possibility of which had been announced by the secret services already in July. Others have speculated that the Bali bombings are a response to the expensive fuel prices imposed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which entered into force precisely on 1 October.

Gus Dur participated in the ceremony to mark the memory of the Bali victims, which took place last night in Jakarta. The manifestation was held in the rotunda of the Hotel Indonesia in the heart of the capital, a traditional meeting place for large demonstrations.

Together with Gus Dur were representatives of the Freedom Guard. This organization, set up only a few days ago, is made up of people from diverse social and religious backgrounds and it aims to safeguard freedom of worship in the country through non-violent means. Husein Hasehm, secretary-general of the group, called on the population to sustain the efforts of the police and the government, focused on "delivering to justice" those behind Saturday's disaster.

Condemnation of the Bali attacks was forthcoming also from the NU executive director, Masdar Farid Mas'udi: "This is a cowardly action conducted by certain extremists; we hope that all the nation will react and return to its normal life."

Last night, many Hindu peace campaigners were present in the square, gathered in the so-called group of the Non Violence Hindu Youth Solidarity (SMHAK) and members of the Professional and Civil Society (MPM).


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See also
10/03/2005 INDONESIA
Bali attacks: Police hunt suicide bombers' accomplices
11/09/2005 INDONESIA
Azahari bin Husin, one of the most dangerous men in South-East Asia, is dead
10/02/2005 indonesia
Bali bombs are "suicide attacks"
by Moerkekaq Senggotro
10/05/2005 INDONESIA
Five wanted in connection with Bali bombings
10/12/2006 INDONESIA
Indonesia recalls 2002 Bali tragedy

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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