by John Hawkins | October 21, 2002 10:35 am
Moderate Islam Vs. Terrorism: It’s nice to see a prominent Muslim organization come out strongly against terrorism without having a “but” attached to it. By having a “but” attached to it, I mean where they say something like “terrorism is bad, BUT Israel is terrible, Americans are crusaders, yada, yada, yada.” On the other hand, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama doesn’t sound like they’re just giving lip service when they’re condemning terrorism…
“Indonesia’s moderate Muslim organisations demanded today that authorities crack down against religious extremists, who they said represent a fringe minority among the country’s 170 million Muslims.
Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid said he believed that Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of a group suspected in last week’s Bali bombing, should have been arrested long ago.
“I believe that Bashir is a terrorist,” Wahid said in a radio interview.
Wahid, who was replaced as head of state by Megawati Sukarnoputri last year, has been sharply critical of her administration’s cautious approach toward radicals.
Wahid’s organization, Nahdlatul Ulama – whose 40 million members make it the world’s largest Muslim grouping – and the 30-million member Muhammadiyah both urged the government to act more decisively against small groups of militants such as Jemaah Islamiyah, which is suspected in the October 12 nightclub bombing in Bali that killed at least 180 people and injured around 300.
Their leaderships say that groups like Jemaah Islamiah or Laskar Jihad – a recently disbanded paramilitary gang blamed for waging a religious war against the Christian minority in the Maluku islands – are a tiny minority in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation.
Megawati has already signed an emergency decree that allows terrorist suspects to be detained for up to six months without charge, but religious moderates have called on her administration to implement even tougher anti-terrorist legislation.
“We badly need such regulations to prevent terrorist attacks,” said Hazim Muzadi, Nahdlatul Ulama’s chairman. “All countries have similar laws.”
Nahdlatul Ulama, RWN salutes you…
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