3 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/15/2011
INDONESIA – UNITED STATES
Accused or proselytising, American family attacked by Indonesian extremists
by Mathias Hariyadi
Only the intervention of the police prevented serious consequences for the parents and their two boys. The father had started two weeks earlier to teach English at a local Protestant school. The attack, which took place in South Sulawesi, was ordered by a radical local Muslim leader.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Only the intervention of police saved the lives of an American family that was attacked by an enraged mob spurred by a local religious leader. Muslim fundamentalists were incensed by charges that the head of the family was engaged in proselytising in the predominantly Muslim area. The latest of its kind (a few days ago clashes between Christians and Muslims left people dead and wounded in Maluku, this incident is further proof of Indonesia’s steady slide towards extremism, a situation that threatens the country’s constitutional foundation, namely its pluralism.

The attack came at night on 5 September in an area west of Palu, provincial capital of South Sulawesi. An American family, David Ray Graeff, 41, his wife Georgia, also 41, and their two sons Benjamin and Daniel, had been staying at Bukit Kabonena Permai housing compound for the previous two weeks. Mr Graeff had been hire to teach English language and literature at a local Protestant divinity school in the village of Uwera, Sigi District.

On that night, an extremist mob, spurred by a local Muslim leader, Muhammad Saleh bin Abubakar Alaydrus, from the local Nurul Khairaat praying group, attacked the family, accusing them of proselytising in the mostly Muslim area. For them, the presence of Americans was itself a “serious threat”.

In the course of their attack, the mob set fire to the family’s property, including a minivan.

Police, who had already been deployed in the area to pre-empt acts of violence, was able to intervene and prevent the worse.

However, the family had to be moved to avoid possible deaths and injuries, Southeast Sulawesi Deputy Police Chief Senior Superintendent Ari Dono Sukmanto said.

Indonesia’s good reputation as a pluralistic, multi-confessional society, has been tarnished by the attack in South Sulawesi and the clashes on the Maluku Islands.

Comments and articles in Indonesia’s press have highlighted the matter, as many see such incidents as a confirmation of the country’s possible Islamisation.

Indeed, Muhammad Saleh bin Abubakar Alaydrus, the Muslim leader that ordered the attack on the American Christian family in Palu, had joined in 2001 a government peace plan agreed in Malino to end sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in Maluku.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/06/2005 INDONESIA
Three Christian women jailed for 'proselytising'
09/17/2004 UNITED STATES - SAUDI ARABIA
For the first time Riyadh on US list of states violating freedom of religion
03/16/2011 INDONESIA
Christians protest against the new closure of the Yasmin Church in Bogor
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/12/2010 INDONESIA
Muslim award goes to Catholic priest for his work in favour of peace and the environment
by Mathias Hariyadi
09/07/2005 INDONESIA
Christians fear attacks in the workplace
by Moerkekaq Senggotro

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.