Ramadan in Jakarta, the extremists announce a raid "against alcohol and pornography"
Jakarta (AsiaNews/agencies)- Indonesian Muslims have started celebrations for the holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer for Islam. The extremist fringe of Islam, strong off the Supreme Court's decision in recent days that has blocked the sale of alcoholic beverages, has already announced raids and attacks on bars and "sinful" public places; meanwhile, the police have seized large quantities of alcohol and pornographic material, in a climate of growing intolerance.
The Islamic holy month is used as a pretext by extremists in Indonesia to take aim at nightclubs, bars and shops selling alcohol, whose consumption is forbidden under sharia law. This year the situation may be even worse, following the series of attacks on religious minorities and Muslims who are not in line with orthodoxy.
Habib Idrus Algadri, head of the FPI in the Depok district, on Jakarta's outskirts, promised "decisive actions against the circulation of alcohol, prostitution and naked dancing". Already a few days ago, on the eve of Ramadan, Front leaders made several punitive missions against those who violated the rules. And in the coming days, adds the fundamentalist leader, at least 50 members will be circulating at night in the most critical points of the capital, to ensure compliance with the directives. "We will not hesitate", he concluded, "to carry out our raid, if we see that the police and the authorities are not able to do their job".
Last weekend the police in Jakarta have destroyed (pictured) thousands of bottles of alcohol manufactured and sold to the public without licensing, as well as pornographic and pirated DVDs.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world and, while ensuring among the constitutional principles basic personal liberties (including that of worship), it is becoming increasingly the scene of violence and abuses against minorities, be they Christians, ahmadi Muslim or of other faiths. In Aceh province - unique in the archipelago - Islamic law rules and in many other areas the influence of the Muslim religion is becoming more radical and extreme in the lives of citizens. Among the various prohibitions, especially with regard to customs, that which requires women to sit astride the motorcycle or to wear jeans or miniskirts. The compliance is ensured by the presence on the streets of "moral police", a special body that punishes violations.