02 June 2008

Scarves, Terrorism, and Stupidity

Just to combine a few recent posts. This is a photo from today's Jakarta Post (courtesy of J. Leo / JP).

The first of these posts was the one about Dunkin' Donuts being forced to pull an Internet advertisement over a scarf that supposedly looked like this one! I think you can see the difference yourself between the two "scarves".

The second one is my lack of appreciation for cowards who cover their heads with masks or in this case a scarf and the terrorise innocent people.

The attack by the FPI and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia highlights the indifference and apathy towards intolerance. It is sad. Many of my friends and colleagues have said that this is not the real Indonesia! This may be so but it is the face that Indonesia is showing to the world!

Indonesia is a land of opportunity, it is a land of immense beauty, it is a land of many diverse and wonderful cultures, it is a land that Indonesians must be proud of and reclaim from those who do her harm in the name of religion.

I am ready for personal attacks from people telling me I am nothing but a know-it-all bule, or that I have no idea, or that I can cut and run at any time, or who are you to tell us what to do, or any other piece of vitriol that one might be able to espouse.

Who am I? I am a man who has a wife who is Indonesian. I am a man who has a child on the way; a child who I would like to be born here; a child that I hope can grow up knowing their Indonesian culture and language; a child who can grow up in a land at peace and a land that embraces its diversity!

What happened yesterday at Monas was pre-meditated, it was despicable, and it was cowardly. The government can no longer afford to pay lip service to thugs encasing their "premanisme" (criminality) in the cloak of religion! If Islam is truly a religion of peace and tolerance then it is time the government showed that it was committed to these very ideals of peace and tolerance by arresting those responsible and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.

Any failure to do so, is cowardice on the part of the government.

The peoples of Indonesia deserve so much better than this!


Polar Bear said...

Mate, I wholeheartedly agree and support you when you say the words “the people of Indonesia deserve so much better than this”.

Nothing you will ever write will be more true.

I don’t know why such a beautiful country, with a population of nice people, can have so many problems. Did we let them down? Do we still let them down? So much could be done.

My worry is that slowly but surely we are sliding into a nasty recession. I think it will hit the West very hard, and will probably hit Indonesia hard as well. People who have nothing, and have no hope, will suffer and struggle.

And just as tyrannical powers rise from suffering, groups like the FPI will gain ascendancy. Then all will be lost for ever.

I will buy you and your wife a beer/coffee/coke when you are next on the Iceberg. You will see that the Polar Bear has a nicer side than you think.

Rob Baiton said...


I don't recall saying or alluding to the fact that you didn't have a nice side.

I can tell by your writings there is a nice side in there somewhere :D

Maybe the better half and I will take you up on the offer!

Polar Bear said...

I didn’t say a “nice side” Rob, I said “Nicer”. :)

I’m know for having a nice side, but its even nicer when you meet me in real life. :)

Rob Baiton said...

Nicer it is!