Umar Patek, 40, who has a US bounty of $1 million on his head and is Indonesia‘s most wanted fugitive, was arrested by Pakistani security agencies who have said they are investigating him for links to militant groups in Pakistan.
A Pakistani official said: “Right now he is being interrogated. The Indonesians want access to him and they are coming.”
Kevin Rudd, Australian Foreign Minister, said: “For us it is clear that Patek has been arrested. Furthermore, it is our view that Patek’s arrest is potentially a major step forward in the fight against terrorism.
“His arrest might offer some small comfort to the nearly 100 Australian families who lost loved ones in the Bali bombings way back in 2002. Of course, his arrest does not bring anyone back.”
Muslims waiting for sunset during Ramadan in Cairo. Image via Wikipedia
Respect to other faiths, Islamic style:
Wearing the veil for female public servants and fasting, including job loss if caught eating, are becoming compulsory in Indonesia. In some parts of the country, Ramadan has become a time of Islamisation with rules increasingly inspired by Sharia. For the authorities, fasting and praying have become compulsory, forcing Muslims to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.
On Madura Island (East Java Province), Pamekasan District chief Kusairi issued a directive whereby all female employees must wear the jilbab, or headscarf. In order to promote conformity with Islamic principles, women street vendors have to conform to the obligation. For Kusairi, this will strengthen Muslim women’s faith.Restaurants and nightclubs will also have to obey the rules. During Ramadan, such places must be closed during the day until dusk. Clubs, bars and places of nightly entertainment will close for the entire month.
Note that they will be closed TOO for non-Muslims.
Representatives of the extremist Islamic Defence Front (FPI) are out at night to strike against rule-breakers.
Respecting freedom of conscience…
In Bengkulu District (Sumatra), Mayor Ahmad Kanesi said that any municipal workers caught breaking the fast would be fired. He offered a 1 million rupiah (US$ 118) reward to anyone who caught a Bengkulu civil servant breaking the fast.
Ahmadis are heretic Muslims because they believe that the only possible and admissible jihad is a peaceful one (even a “jihad of love), and never a violent one, except in extreme persecution times, exception that is not even recognised by the whole movement.
Indonesia’s justice system is once again criticised for failing to impose lengthy sentences on people responsible for sectarian violence and crimes against minorities. The latest example came yesterday when a District Court in Serang, Banten Province (Java), handed down lenient sentences against 12 Muslims extremists for their role in a brutal assault against Ahmadi Muslims in February in Cikeusik.
The defendants received sentences of between three and six months in jail, Islamic Lawyer Team (TPM) said. Both the prosecutor and the judges said that Ahmadis (a Muslim group deemed heretical by mainstream Muslims because they do not view Muhammad as the last prophet) “provoked” the assault and so bore some responsibility.
For one of the prosecutors, M Yunis, Ahmadis “systematically provoked riots”. In reality, pressures from Muslim extremists were behind the light sentences.
Human rights activists and members of civil society groups have been outraged by the court’s decision when compared to the gravity of the facts.
Just three weeks ago, Darsem binti Dawud Tawar was facing execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia for murder, which she claims was an act of self-defense. Now, finally back home in Indonesia, she is a free woman — after the Indonesian government paid more than $500,000 in “blood money.”
Holding her young son tightly, as she faced the glare of the media, Darsem was reunited with her family on Wednesday at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta. She first left her West Java hometown for a job as a maid in the Middle East in 2006, when her son was just a baby. Continue reading →
Rights activists have criticized what they characterize as hate speeches delivered by Muslim leaders during Friday prayers.Chairul Anam, deputy head of the Human Rights Working Group, said the offending speech in mosques was part of a larger problem.
“There are three trends nowadays; namely, intolerance, violence and hate speech. These have made us worried,” he said during a seminar yesterday organized by the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor and attended by about 50 people.
Hate speech was particularly dangerous, he said, because it is used to declare other religious groups as heretical and fueled intolerance and violence.“We need a regulation to control it.”
Anam added that police have been particularly negligent because they allow such speech during Friday prayers and have made no attempt to intervene.“I hope that police will not be trapped in any religious sentiments.”