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» 01/08/2010
INDONESIA
Central Java: Islamic radicalism on the rise in Solo mosques
by Mathias Hariyadi
The city is a hub of Islamic extremism. It was also the birthplace of radical Islamist leader Abu Bakar Bashir as well as the refuge of Malaysian terrorism Noordin Top. A radical version of Islam and self-imposed exclusivism favours spread of radicalism.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Extremism and religious fanaticism are blossoming in a number of mosques of Surakarta, a city popularly known as Solo, located in Central Java, this according to the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture (CSRC), a research study centre associated with South Jakarta-based Islamic State University (UIN) Syarief Hidayatullah. Its findings further confirm that Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, with a reputation of moderation, appears to be drifting towards radicalism.

Irfan Abubakar, researcher at the CSRC, said out of ten mosques the most radical are the Al Islam Mosque in the village of Gumuk (Banjarsari) and the Al-Kahfi Mosque in Mojosongo (Jebres).

Radical Islamist leader Abu Bakar Bashir was born and lived in Solo. Malaysian terrorist Noordin Moh Top, who masterminded the Jakarta and Bali bombings, found refuge in the village of Mojosongo where he died in shootout with police in September 2009.

“Both mosques, the Al Kahfi and Al Islam, are affiliated with two different radical hard-line Muslim organisations,  the Islamic Youth Front (LPIS) and Hidayatullah,” Irfan Abubakar said.

Members of the two mosques tend to be socially exclusive in terms of clothing as well as behaviour. Neither accepts Muslims from other groups or mingle with them.

The other eight mosques are more open, and tend to follow the teachings of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's two largest moderate Muslim organisations.

Titled "Mapping Islamic ideologies in Solo’s mosques," the CSRC research was carried out between September and December 2009. It focused on faith propagation at the congregation and mosque levels, government control, the concept of jihad or holy war, religious pluralism and the implementation of Sharia (Islamic Law).


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See also
09/16/2004 INDONESIA
Suspects in Australian Embassy blast named
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/14/2006 INDONESIA
Abu Bakar Baasyir free to fight for Sharia
09/21/2009 INDONESIA
Hunting for the heirs of Noordin Top, al-Qaeda’s top operative in South-East Asia
09/10/2012 INDONESIA
Fears of new attacks rise as Islamic terrorism targets Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi
05/27/2010 INDIA – ISLAM
Enough with fatwas that betray the spirit of Islam, Islamic expert says
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
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Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
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Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

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