The government has declared
victory over Islamic terrorism in Indonesia. There have been no major attacks
in the last two years. Also, the Islamic terrorism directed at Indonesian
Christians has all but disappeared. This violence killed about 10,000 people
between 1999-2002. As a result, as part of the celebration of Indonesian
independence, about half of the 139,000 people in prison had their sentences
reduced. This included hundreds of convicted terrorists. Most of the reductions
were measured in months, but it upset many in neighboring Australia, which has
lost over a hundred citizens to terror attacks in Indonesia.
Islamic terrorists have been largely shut down in
Indonesia by a combination of good police work, and public opinion
turning against the Islamic radicals. While a large minority of Indonesians
favor Islamic radicalism, not enough of them are willing to back terrorism.
There was a largely unseen (outside of Indonesia) civil war between the
traditional Moslems (who incorporate many pre-Islamic religious customs and
ideas) and the Islamic conservatives (heavily influenced by Wahhabi
missionaries from Saudi Arabia.) Many of those Islamic radials who were not
killed or arrested, fled the country. Some ended up in the Philippines and
Malaysia, where they continue to be pursued. There are still dozens of Islamic
terrorists in Indonesia, but they spend most of their time avoiding
August 15, 2007: Gang violence persists in East
Timor, with UN vehicles being regularly stoned. Some vehicles have been heavily
damaged or destroyed, and about a dozen of the most active attackers were
August 12, 2007: Islamic organization Hizbut Tahrir
rented a sports stadium and filled it with 80,000 Moslems eager to support the
establishment of a world-wide Islamic government (the Caliphate.) Hizbut
Tahrir is banned in most Moslem countries, because it calls for the overthrow
of the all current governments. Hizbut Tahrir is not banned, but is
closely watched, in Indonesia. Hizbut Tahrir keeps going because its
leaders have obtained asylum in Western countries like Britain and Australia.
Hizbut Tahrir gets away with this by insisting that the worldwide Islamic
dictatorship will be established by peaceful means.
August 11, 2007: A house exploded in East Java,
killing three people. Police quickly determined that the cause was a fertilizer
bomb. Further investigation, however, revealed that the house was used to build
bombs for fishermen, who used explosions to stun large schools of fish. You
then scoop up the fish as they float on the surface. The bomb makers for the
fishermen have never been connected with Islamic terrorists.