Islamic extremists attack bars and hotels for “violating the sanctity of Ramadan”
Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A mob went on the rampage on the western outskirts of Bogor (West Java) early Sunday, attacking coffee shops, night clubs, small hotels and other businesses they accuse of “violating the sanctity of Ramadan,” as part of a wider campaign by Islamic extremists to impose Sharia on the largest Muslim country in the world. The province where the violence occurred is also the one where anti-Christian prejudice is strongest. Members of the infamous Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and Islam Defenders Force (LPI) took part in the attacks.
The mob gathered in the area of Parung late Saturday and marched to the Bojong area, brandishing sticks and attacking hotels, cafes and other buildings along the way they suspected of being used by prostitutes and their customers.
There were no reports of injuries in the attacks, but several places including Bale Bale caf‚ and the Transit Hotel suffered extensive damage.
Bogor cleric Ayip, who participated in the attacks, justified the violence by saying the targeted businesses had ignored orders to close for the fasting month.
“I would participate in another raid to tear down their places if they are still open after this," he said.
Bogor Police Chief Arief Ontowiryo said he would not allow any further attacks on private property, adding that his officers were investigating the events but had yet named any suspects in the attacks.
National Police spokesman Inspector General Sisno Adiwinoto urged victims to file police reports, saying this was the only way to catch those responsible. He suggested the Home Ministry review the organizational permits of radical groups responsible for these and similar attacks.
Although there are no national laws banning nightspots from operating during Ramadan, most regions place some kind of limits on their activities. The Jakarta administration, for example, has banned six types of businesses from operating during Ramadan. These include massage parlours, nightclubs, discotheques and saunas.