Sat, 15 Jan 2000

On call for jihad

I read the harsh opinion of Benny Subianto about Amien Rais in The Jakarta Post on Jan. 13, 2000 titled Has Amien Rais' color changed?, and I started wondering, did he have a more precise target for these attacking words beside Amien Rais personally?

Why can't Benny say the same words to crowds of hundreds of thousands gathered at the National Monument (Monas) and the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) which urged the government to take serious action to stop mass murder in North Maluku? Would he simply call all Muslims who are concerned about stopping those killings a "sectarian" or "fundamentalist"?

It was reported in Kompas on Jan. 13 that a woman refugee was shocked by the merciless attack carried out by a party who had not experienced strife or problems before. And sadly people are being attacked just because they have different faiths. Like it or not, you have to swallow what you see: a religious war.

The Muslim reaction to the killing was morally justifiable. They don't give a damn about Christians anywhere or about proclaiming a holy war. They just want to see an immediate response from the government. I personally disregard anyone in society or the mass media who remains silent about what is happening in North Maluku. I praise Amien Rais for his immediate response to the tragedy, while others are speechless.

Muslim reactions are still within the corridor of law since they respect other believers in their neighborhood.

About Amien Rais' tending to be anti-Chinese and anti- Christian, clear evidence should be cited. So far, I believe that Amien Rais is miles away from being so.