Fri, 22 Dec 2000

Betawi unhappy with FPI

JAKARTA (JP): The Betawi (native Jakarta ethnic group) Consultative Body, or Bamus Betawi, has joined Muslim organizations in condemning the violence and anarchic acts carried out against various entertainment spots by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

Bamus Betawi chairman Abdul Syukur said on Wednesday that the vandalism had destroyed people's property and injured others, which created worries for entrepreneurs in running their businesses here.

Their acts have also led to clashes with local residents living in the vicinity of the places being attacked, he added.

The FPI members -- attired in Muslim dress and armed with sticks and other weapons -- have been raiding and vandalizing places of entertainment claiming that their targets, including nightclubs, hotels, and discotheques, were places which encouraged immoral activities such as gambling, prostitution, and drug dealing,.

The latest attack took place on a red-light district in Cikijing, Subang, about 105 kilometers east of here, during which FPI members forcibly cut the hair of three women, whom they suspected of being prostitutes, with knives.

"Islam promotes religious tolerance, therefore Muslims are not allowed to force people of different religions to follow Islamic teaching," Syukur said. (07)