» 08/31/2012, 00.00
Muslim activist helps minority Shias in East Java victims of Sunni violence
Anti-discrimination Islamic group president confirms that scores of people have disappeared, and that hundreds more are in need of food and basic necessities. Calling for trauma care experts to treat victims, he slams government inaction, but latter blames the violence on a "family feud."
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Scores of Shias are missing and
hundreds more need a refuge and basic necessities, which the government is slow
to provide, said Aan Anshori, president of the Islamic Network of
Anti-Discrimination (JIAD). Speaking to AsiaNews from Surabaya,
East Java, he said that Sunnis and Shias were involved in sectarian violence
and that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his administration were proving
incapable of dealing with an increasingly critical situation. The activist
explained that scores of members of the Shia community had disappeared and that
those who found refuge at an indoor sport stadium were "without adequate food
days, violent clashes broke out between majority Sunnis and minority Shias, ostensibly
in a family feud, in the world's largest Muslim nation. Officially, two
people are dead (not four as was first thought) and eight are seriously
wounded. About 40 homes owned by Shia families were destroyed.
is urgently needed here is medical treatment" for refugees, "including some medical
care for trauma patients," Mr Anshori said. In addition, at least
70 Shia families or 278 people are living in shelters. They need however food and proper
has been helping them. Youth members of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) are assisting the
organisation, as are members of other groups, like Stara Muda, GusDurian
Jombang, Prasasti and the Interfaith Forum in Jombang.
the government is trying to downplay the extent of the violence between the two
Muslim groups. But predominantly Shia Iran has offered help to fellow Shias in
part, Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali insisted that the clashes
in Sampang are not confessional in nature, but a "family feud". Interior
Minister Gamawan Fauzi agrees. In his view, recent events are nothing but an "ordinary
Five people die in intra-Islamic fighting in West Java
The province leads Indonesia in sectarian violence. The murder of the leader of an extremist movement provokes his followers who carry out a revenge attack against the members of a sect deemed heretical. However, the latter was in no way connected with murder. The incident highlights the fact that violence remains a problem within Islam.
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More than 100 representatives of the main religions condemn violence by fundamentalist groups. Poverty and social injustice are the true causes of conflicts.
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East Java: three students caught drunk caned at (moderate) Muslim school
The Jombang Institute is linked to the Nahdlatul Ulama, the most important moderate Muslim movement. Young people could "choose" between expulsion, caning being tied to a tree for three days. The Ministry for Religious Affairs expresses concern and calls for "non-violent methods".
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As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
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P. Samir Youssef
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