An update from the Jakarta Post

An update from the Jakarta Post (10/16/96)

Headline: NU denies church attacks fueled by religious hatred
Jakarta (JP): The attack on churches, Christian schools and public buildings
in East Java on Oct. 10 was a criminal act which was not fueled by religious
hatred, an influencial Moslem organization stated yesterday.

Officials of the 30 million strong Nahdlatul Ulama reiterated their regret
over the incident, but insisted that the organization was not behind the
riots which claimed at least five lives.

"We believe the vandals were not Nahdlatul Ulama members," NU Secretary
General Ahmad Bagdja told reporters... (all of the above is quoted)

First, this contradicts NU's chairman Abdurrahman's statement on Monday 
which acknowleged that most of the rioters were NU Members. The NU Secretary
General's denial is unfortunate and makes it MUCH MORE difficult to reconcile
this situation. Healing could come if Indonesian Islamic leaderhip would 
ADMIT that those responsible for this outrageous attack were MUSLIMS incited
by INAPPROPRIATE religious zeal against their Christian neighbors.

Secondly, the denial that this is a religious incident is ridiculous and
defies reason! If there were no religious feelings involved, why were ONLY
churches and NOT mosques burned? Why were ONLY Christian schools and NOT
public schools burned? Why were ONLY Christians murdered and NOT Muslims?

Lastly, where is PRESIDENT SOEHARTO'S statement? Why is he silent? His
PERSONAL CONDEMNATION and call for a FULL INVESTIGATION of those responsible
is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY or the only conclusion will be that the Indonesian
Government APPROVES of such behavior and will not really PUNISH those who
engage in it.

Return to Project Open Book