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» 07/28/2008
INDONESIA
Muslims storm Protestant school in Jakarta, scores of students injured
by Benteng Reges
Over the week-end Muslim fanatics target a Christian school in the capital’s east side. Police evacuate the institute to protect students. Hundreds of police agents are now guarding it to prevent further violence.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Police evacuated the Christian Theological Arastamar Institute (STT SETIA) which is located in an eastern district of the Indonesian capital after it suffered damages during clashes between Christians and Muslims over the week-end. At least 1,500 students were moved to nearby police headquarters and a local Christian-based political party. The situation remains critical and further violence between opposite factions cannot be ruled out.

“The school foundation urged us to intervene to protect people,” said East Jakarta District Police Chief Senior Superintendent. “For this reason we moved everyone out.”

Last night hundreds of residents from the village of Kampung Pulo had taken up arms threatening to storm the school after being instigated by an imam at a local mosque who claimed that a bunch of Christian gangsters were coming to “protect” the school after it was attacked on Saturday by a Muslim mob, causing damage to the building and hurting hundreds.

In an attempt to solve the problem East Jakarta District Chief Murdani held a close door meeting with the warring parties to discuss the issue. At the same time though, he said that police would conduct a thorough investigation and check if the school’s legal status was in order and that it respected all building regulations. In case of violations he would issue orders to demolish the unlawful structures.

At present hundreds of agents are guarding the school and have orders to stop any act of violence and disarm people.

The Arastamar High School for Theology and Biblical Studies, locally known as STT SETIA, was established by Rev Mathew Mangentang in 1987.

The SST SETIA has more than 29 branches school across the country. In Jakarta alone it has thousands of students, including tens who were injured in latest clashes.

Tensions between Christians and Muslims flared up on Saturday following rumours that a SETIA student had stolen a motorcycle that belonged to a Muslim from a neighbouring village.

Senny Manafe, a spokesperson for the school, rejected the accusation, claiming instead that the attacks were triggered by a trivial incident. In an attempt to chase a mouse in the street, a student threw a slipper against a house owned by a local Muslim. Outraged by the deed, the latter kicked and punched the student as people gathered drawn by the rumour that a Christian student had tried to steal the Muslim’s motorbike.

“Many students suffered various injuries to the head. Others were burnt by Molotov cocktails,” Manafe said.

The violence and charges against SETIA are the work of Risman Hadi, chairman of Muslim Brotherhood Forum of Kampung Pulo Village, who in the past opposed the opening and continued existence of the Christian institute.


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See also
11/18/2005 INDONESIA
Another young woman murdered in central Sulawesi
by Benteng Reges
10/29/2009 INDONESIA
Jakarta, more violence against students of Christian theology
by Mathias Hariyadi
08/07/2013 INDONESIA
Archbishop of Jakarta warns of attacks, urges people to remain vigilant and calls for controls
by Mathias Hariyadi
11/17/2012 INDONESIA
Jakartans back the (Christian) deputy governor in his fight against graft and waste
06/02/2008 INDONESIA
Jakarta on the verge of a civil war as moderate and radical Muslims battle it out
by Benteng Reges

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Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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