Wed, 22 Nov 2000

FPI members raid billiard parlor in Kebayoran Baru

JAKARTA (JP): Armed with daggers, sickles, swords, and sticks, some 150 members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) attacked and vandalized a billiard center in South Jakarta late Monday night, leaving 25 tables, 100 pool cues, a refrigerator and furniture badly damaged.

The raid was the latest of several carried out by FPI members against entertainment centers, particularly discotheques which they accuse of offering sex service and drugs.

It remained unclear why they chose to raid the Bi Pop billiard center in Kebayoran Baru.

According to the police report, the mob arrived at about 11:30 p.m., damaged the property and immediately left the scene before the authorities arrived.

There were no injuries reported at the incident and police, as usual, have made no arrests.

When contacted, FPI executive Reza Pahlevi confirmed the attack and said members would conduct more attacks on such places during Ramadhan should the spots remain open during the Muslim fasting month.

"We will burn those places if they insist on opening for business," Reza said.

He said that such places would tarnish the sacredness of the month.

"If the authorities stand in our way, so be it. If you live in nobility, you'll die as a syuhada (a person who dies for Islam)," Reza said.

Late last month, City Police chief Insp. Gen. Mulyono Sulaiman guaranteed that there would be no more armed protesters on the streets or violent groups raiding entertainment spots in the capital.

Mulyono also promised that he and his officers would try to maintain law and order and would take stiff measures against violators. (jaw)