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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 08/28/2012, 00.00


    Sampang: Four killed in clashes between Sunnis and Shiites. Criticism of Government's inaction

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Interfaith tension still high on Madura island. Eight injured and dozens of homes destroyed in yesterday’s clashes. A family feud and rivalry between groups are likely to lead to open conflict. Activists, intellectuals and civil society against President Yudhoyono and the central executive.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Tension is still high on Madura island, Sampang regency, the scene of violent clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Hundreds of police and soldiers are patrolling the streets, but there is a high risk of further skirmishes between the two sides. Yesterday four people died - two per side - plus eight were wounded and at least forty houses destroyed. The toll is provisional and may increase if the government does not intervene decisively to restore calm in an area where open interfaith conflict has been threatening to break out for months (see AsiaNews 19/01/2012 East Java: a growing tension between Sunni and Shiite, fears of a conflict), the population points the finger at President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the central executive in Jakarta, unable to quell the violence in all these months.

    Yesterday the majority Sunni attacked the Shiite minority area, after months of tension triggered by a family feud between the two groups. The police have not been able to contain the riots, and the government - add several analysts and intellectuals - was unable or unwilling to take the necessary measures to stop the outbreak of tension, which now threatens to spread throughout the country.

    Several organizations have launched accusations against the head of state, which they claim is doing nothing to stop the violence and eradicate the seed of hatred among the faithful of Muhammad in the most populous Muslim country in the world. For this reason, many moderate leaders and representatives of the Islamic Front fiercely criticize the work of Yudhoyono.

    Among these is Kiai Hajj Arifin Husaein, better known as Gus Nuril, leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in central Java, who says that the president "has done nothing to resolve the issue." He adds that "no potential conflict can be eradicated" if the central authority in Indonesia "makes no commitment to take deterrent measures" to "put an end to the hostilities." He is echoed by Ahmad Mujahid, who also criticizes the actions of the police who targeted the Shiite leader Tajul Muluk  for "no reason" accusing him - unfairly - of spreading "illegal" teachings.

    The human rights activist Usman Hamid, Jakarta, also criticizes the actions of the executive under the leadership of Yudhoyono, the powerful Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) has also issued a statement in which it explains that the Shia sect has made no "unlawful" teaching.

    Speaking to AsiaNews from his office in Yogyakarta, Mohammad Machasin, professor of Islamic studies at the Islamic Sunan Kalijaga High School, calls on the authorities to crack down on provocateurs who "manipulate" opinions and ideas according to their own interests. As an expert on Islamic history and cultures, he adds that it is not easy to decide whether the Shiite community of Sampang is "illegal" or "legal" because of the many "varieties" of the different movements. But the fact remains that the government should promote that part of civil society that wants "peaceful dialogue" to resolve "conflicts between majority and minority confessional groups."


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    See also

    19/01/2012 INDONESIA
    East Java: a growing tension between Sunni and Shiite, fears of a conflict
    The local leader of Nadhlatul Ulama demand police intervention against the head of the Shiite community Tajul muluk. According to the indictment he is fomenting sectarian divisions and promoting "illegal teachings " about Islam.

    21/09/2011 INDONESIA
    Threats against Christian churches: return of strategy of tension even in Sulawesi
    Telephone messages warning of attacks against Catholic and Protestant churches, but they are hoaxes. Police are investigating but it is not clear whether it is political propaganda or conflict of a religious nature. Sulawesi Priest calls for "fellow citizens" not to get carried away "by feelings of hatred."

    30/12/2011 INDONESIA
    Sunni mob sets fire to Shia boarding school in East Java
    The hate crime against minority Shias took place yesterday on Madura Island. Ahmadi Muslims have been victims of similar acts in the past at the hand of Muslim extremists.

    23/03/2009 IRAQ
    Iraq, 62,000 public employees fired on corruption charges
    The interior ministry has launched a campaign aimed at uprooting corruption and sectarian divisions. Political activities have been prohibited for police officials, and sharing of information among Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds is being promoted in order to ensure law and order in the country. Iraqi minister: "We now have a chance to be the first workable Arab democracy."

    17/08/2012 SYRIA
    UN calls off peace mission to Syria
    The suspension was passed yesterday by the Security Council. No longer conditions to continue the work of observers. The mandate expires on August 19. Russia is opposed to the decision and warns of potential negative consequences.

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