The rate of posts has slowed considerably over the last few days. I have two assessment tasks due this week. I have just finished off a 2,500 word essay on teaching English to Indigenous students. I am having a quick break before getting back to polishing it up in preparation for submission at 5:00PM Tuesday.
Now, on with the show!
This article from The Jakarta Globe caught my eye for no other reason than the "Sleep-Deprived American Takes On Indonesian Mosque, Loses". I figured that what was to follow was some crazy old American dude pulling the plug on his local mosque in an attempt to get some quiet time. I also figured that the only way this could end was badly. So, I was not surprised to find out that I was pretty much on the money.
On a personal note. I lived in Indonesia for a good many years, and quite often I resided pretty close to my local mosque. To be honest, I cannot remember being disturbed by the call to prayer, even early in the morning. I do kind of remember that I might have been at first, but then I guess I must of just got used to it and accepted that that was par for the course. I suppose I was immune to it.
Anyways, it would seem that Luke Gregory Lloyd (64 - old dude) could not take the noise anymore. He apparently shuck around the back of the mosque and quite literally pulled the plug, right out of the offending speakers. As you can imagine, the local worshippers did not take too kindly to this intrusion into the practice of their faith and set out to teach "old man" Luke a lesson. Those interviewed seemed to intimate that some form of retribution beating was on the cards and death possible.
Now, I get it that what the old fella did was rude, it was disrespectful and, as it turns out, stupid. But, I really do not see the need to beat the fella senseless or even to death. I thought Islam was a religion of peace, tolerance and harmony? There is nothing real peaceful, tolerant or harmonious in beating a bloke because he turned down the volume on your speakers, is there?
Cool-Hand Luke managed to escape the clutches of his pursuers into the safety of a neighbouring village. However, his house was not so lucky. When it was decided that lucky Luke was not going to be the victim of today's bashing, his pursuers decided they would bash the next best thing, his house. Subsequently, his house was trashed. Knowing the Indonesian propensity for trashing stuff, I can just imagine what his house must have looked like once the unhappy mosque goers were done.
Funnily enough, in that truly sad kind of a way, it turns out that Lukey boy is an "overstayer". His residency permit expired way back in April 2006. Oops! I wonder how he managed to live in the small town environment of Mataram, Lombok, without ever being noticed. Maybe the same coppers that have now arrested him and placed him in 'protective' custody were facilitating his ongoing presence in Lombok over the last four years. Then again, it might have been the local immigration officers, as it seems that they are not so willing to comment on what happens next to the Luke-meister.
Aside from putting himself in a position to be busted for overstaying his visa and getting his house trashed, it appears that the local constabulary are now investigating the old fella with a view to charging him with blasphemy. Yes, if you are shaking your head, I understand. How does a bloke who pulls the plug on a mosque speaker system find himself looking down the barrel of a five-year stretch in the slammer for blasphemy.
To be honest, disrespecting Islam is one thing, but turning down the volume on a speaker system is hardly blasphemy. The idea that it has even been suggested let alone the fact that an investigation is being considered or undertaken highlights how silly some people can be. Any self-respecting Indonesian, irrespective of religion, must be shaking their head in bewilderment at this one. Or, then again, it might just be a simple case of "here we go again!"
No matter what happens, it would seem that Lukey's stay in Indonesia is all but over.