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    » 07/19/2013, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Java, crowd of thousands force Islamic fundamentalists to flee

    Mathias Haryadi

    The militant Islamic Defender Front (FPI) were trying to cause unrest in Pathean. The accidental death of a woman sparked the anger of the population, who attacked the extremists and forced them to flee. Indonesian society no longer tolerates the radical organization.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - This morning, thousands of Indonesians attacked and chased members of the Islamic Defender Front (FPI), Islamic extremist group, from Patehan (Kendal Regency, Central Java). Members of the fundamentalist organization ran riot around the city on motorcycles and in vans, to disturb the public peace and cause unrest among the population, fasting for Ramadan.

    Tension rose when militants on board a van knocked down three people. One of them, a woman, died. Bystanders attempted to stop the vehicle to question the driver, but the militants fled the scene. At that point, thousands on the Islamic extremists, forcing them to flee. 27 of them sought refuge in a mosque nearby.

    Police arrived on the scene and calmed the anger of the crowd, allowing the militants to leave. Inside the place of worship officers found and confiscated weapons and heavy artillery, belonging to FPI members.

    At first Syihabuddin, branch president of FPI in Central Java, denied that anyone in the group had hit and killed the woman. However, his statement was followed by an official apology, claiming that it was an accident.

    Increasingly the people of Indonesia seem less willing to stand for the excesses, violent and provocative attitudes of the Islamic Defender Front. Last year in Palangkaraya (province of central Borneo) the Dayak - Aboriginal population - prevented the local president of FPI from landing. A few months ago in Pontianak (West Borneo Province) Dayak thousands of young people organized a rally to protest the presence of the Islamic extremist group.

     

     

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    See also

    29/09/2010 INDONESIA
    Muslim fundamentalists against gay and lesbian film festival in Jakarta
    Islamic Defender Front threatens to set fire to one of the venues of the festival. Opening day is cancelled.

    04/06/2008 INDONESIA
    More than 50 Islamic Defender Front extremists arrested
    The police is questioning detainees over last 1 June clashes during a pro-religious freedom rally. FPI leader is among those arrested. In East Java young moderate Muslims burn radical group’s flags.

    19/08/2010 INDONESIA
    Bekasi Christians not intimidated by pressures from Islamic extremists
    For months, hundreds of radical Muslims have threatened Christians and interrupted the functions of the Batak Protestant Church (HKBP). Rev Luspida Simanjutak, the community’s pastor, tells AsiaNews that she is not afraid of the extremists, and that she will continue to defend freedom of religion.

    14/10/2005 INDONESIA
    Islamic extremists attack Catholics reciting rosary

    The attack took place on 11 October in a private house. Armed men broke in and threatened to burn the place down if the prayer went ahead. Fears are rising about further violence against Indonesian believers.



    03/06/2008 INDONESIA
    Young moderate Muslims declare war on extremists
    Following an attack by members of the Islamic Defender Front against Muslims demonstrating in favour of religious freedom, some youth groups say there are ready to join the police against the Front. The government is now weighing its options on whether and how to dissolve the dangerous extremist group.



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