Islamic extremist religious leaders are telling their followers to
leave Christians alone this Christmas. In past years, Islamic radicals had been
encouraged to attack churches and Christmas. This led to counterattacks by
Christians and, in areas where Christians were a large minority, years of
sectarian strife. But years of counter-terrorist operations have put the
Islamic radicals on the defensive.
12, 2006: Malaysia says that cooperation between Malaysian and Indonesian
intelligence agencies has been responsible for the lack of Islamic terrorist
attacks in the past year. Several high ranking Islamic radicals have been
captured in the past year, and it was often mentioned that the arrested men
were unable to find safe havens in either Malaysia or Indonesia. As a result,
several prominent Islamic terrorists are thought to be in the Philippines,
where they are the subject of an intense search.
11, 2006: In Aceh, former separatist rebels won a narrow victory over
pro-Indonesia opponents, to win the governors election. The separatists
agreed to a peace deal last year, one that gave Aceh more autonomy, but not
independence. The new governor said that he would not push for the adoption of
Sharia (Islamic) law, despite the fact that Aceh has always been the most
religiously conservative part of Indonesia.