» 08/13/2012, 00.00
INDONESIA - MYANMAR
Indonesian Islamists attack Buddhist temples as revenge for Rohingya
The fate of Myanmar's Muslim minority is becoming a "domestic problem" for Jakarta. Islamist extremists manipulate images and news to create instability. Buddhist places of worship are attacked in South Sulawesi. In Jakarta, funds are raised for the victims of violence in Myanmar.
(AsiaNews) - The tragedy of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims could ignite sectarian violence
in Indonesia, where Islamist extremists targeted Muslim buildings and announced
more actions, violent ones included. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) slammed
the attacks, noting through its President Rahin Yunus that abuses against
Myanmar's Muslim minority are not an Indonesian domestic problem. "Anarchy
cannot be allowed, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan," Yunus said
as he spoke about last week's attacks against Buddhist temples in Makassar and other
parts of the archipelago.
military regime of Suharto (1967-1998), issues like ethnicity, religion, race
and interethnic relations were taboo and could not be discussed in public. Today
events and facts, including international politics, that touch upon them are
manipulated to cause domestic tensions. Photos, newspaper articles and distorted
images are circulated to stir public opinion against various groups,
undermining the authority of the central government.
This is what
is currently taking place in Indonesia over the fate of Myanmar's Rohingya
and pressures on the Indonesian government have now turned to actions
and attacks against religious symbols.
Friday, groups linked to the Islamic Defence Front (FPI) attacked Buddhist
temples in Makassar (South Sulawesi province), turning what was supposed to be
a peaceful demonstration of solidarity with the Rohingya into a violent
articles, images and news that distorted the issue caused the attack by turning
an issue in Myanmar and Bangladesh into a domestic Indonesian affair between
Muslims and Buddhists, mixing ethnic, religious, political and social issues.
uncoordinated fashion, extremists attacked the temples of Xian Ma, Kwan Kong,
Ibu Agung Bahari and Girinaga, some singing and chanting slogans.
at the end of the weekly prayer, at least 5,000 Muslims gathered in Depok
(Bogor Regency) in a show of solidarity for the Rohingya. During the event,
funds were raised for the victims of sectarian violence in Myanmar.
Other meetings and demonstrations were held without violence in the
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