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)Comments
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.
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