In Aceh, the disarmament of the province continues to go
peacefully. Rebel weapons are being turned in, police and soldiers are leaving
and exiled rebel leaders are returning (often after decades away).
October 29, 2005: On Sulawesi, six men in black attacked and beheaded three
Christian high school girls walking to school. Islamic radicals have been
operating in Sulawesi, with it's mixed Moslem/Christian population, for years.
There has been much religious violence, and many police reinforcements to
enforce a peace. Attacks like this are intended to get the fighting going
again. In this case, a fourth victim escaped, and was able to identify some of
the attackers, which led to a large manhunt for the killers.
October 26, 2005: A major problem in dealing with Islamic extremism in
Indonesia is the refusal of many Islamic clerics to admit that there is a
problem with Islamic extremists. Instead, these clerics refer to a few
criminals, and deny that this has anything to do with Islam. There is a
growing, and bitter, debate, among Islamic leaders over this issue. It is a
problem for the government, because the majority of Islamic clerics go
along with the idea that Islam is not at fault, and any counter-terrorism
efforts are mainly "anti-Islamic." The Islamic radicals go along with
all this, because it helps protect them from investigation and prosecution.
October 25, 2005: On Sulawesi, three policemen and
four members of a deviant (they combined pagan and Islamic customs)
Islamic cult were killed in a clash. Local Islamic clerics had complained to
police about the cult.