Are 400,000 Terrorists Trying to Attack the United States? by Ivan Eland

http://www.antiwar. com/eland/ ?articleid= 13162

July 19, 2008

After having begun a series of investigative stories criticizing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in May 2008, CNN reporter Drew Griffin reports being placed with more than a million other names on TSA’s swollen terrorism watch list. Although TSA insists Griffin’s name is not on the list and pooh-poohs any possibility of retaliation for Griffin’s negative reporting, the reporter has been hassled by various airlines on 11 flights since May. The airlines insist that Griffin’s name is on the list. Congress has asked TSA to look into the tribulations of this prominent passenger.

In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, probably responding to the controversy over Griffin, Leonard Boyle, the director of the Terrorist Screening Center, defended the watch list, claiming that because terrorists have multiple aliases, the names on the list boiled down to only about 400,000 actual people. If there are 400,000 terrorists lying in wait to attack the United States, we are all in trouble.

But wait a minute. There has been no major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 – almost seven years ago. Where are all these nefarious evildoers?

Boyle says 95 percent of these people are not American citizens or legal residents and the vast majority aren’t even in the United States. He rather sheepishly defends the size of the list by writing, “Its size corresponds to the threat. It’s a big world.”

That brings up a very important issue. The U.S. government regularly tries to police the world and combat threats to other nations – in the process, usually generating more enemies. Examining the forty-four organizations on the State Department’s highly politicized list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), one finds that only a very few currently focus their efforts on U.S. targets. And the U.S. government has even flirted with one anti-Iranian group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which was put on the FTO list long ago.

Similarly, the State Department’s list of five state sponsors of terrorism has included Cuba and North Korea – neither of which has actively participated in terrorist attacks in decades. These two countries continued to be on the list for other reasons – namely U.S. government aversion to them. On its website, the State Department even admits that, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987.” The website also contains an implicit admission that keeping selected countries on the state sponsors list can reap ulterior political benefits for the United States. The website notes that under the umbrella of the Six-Party Talks, the United States intends to remove North Korea from the list as that nation takes actions toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons program. Even the remaining three nations on the list that do sponsor terrorism – Syria, Iran, and Sudan – don’t support groups that focus their attacks on the U.S.

Thus, the humongous terrorist watch list for airline travel and the excessively large FTO and state sponsors lists are a few more examples of the United States taking on other nations’ security burdens. Trying to be the “big man on (the world) campus,” however, comes at a horrendous cost to American freedom at home.

The terrorist watch list is downright unconstitutional. Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, no warrants shall be issued unless there is probable cause that a crime has been committed. If the government has such probable cause that a passenger is conspiring to commit a terrorist act on an airplane, it should not hassle that person at the airport when trying to fly or ban him or her from flying; it should arrest them. But of course the government does not have the evidence to do that for the vast majority of the 400,000 people on the watch list.

And it’s apparently not easy to get yourself off the list once you are on it. Although Boyle claims that the TSA constantly scrubs the list for possible mistaken identities of people who have frequent “encounters” with the list, even if they don’t file a complaint, Griffin uncovered an innocent passenger with a common name – James Robinson – who has complained endlessly and has received no resolution of his case. Senator Edward Kennedy – also with a common name – experienced endless hassles and red tape trying to get his name off the list. If such a well-known figure has such problems, the average misidentified traveler is in big trouble.

And as the economists would say, what about opportunity cost to real security? The U.S. government should spend the time it devotes to scrutinizing 400,000 people on the watch list, and the vast majority of the 44 FTOs and all of the 5 countries who don’t sponsor anti-U.S. terrorism, on the again rising principal threat from Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and their tens of hard core al-Qaeda followers operating out of Pakistan. The American public would be much safer. As the famous Prussian military ruler Fredrick the Great (and closet economist) said, “To defend everything is to defend nothing.” Moreover, under current government policy, we have neither liberty nor security.


By The Way: FPI too busy talking to God

Sun, 06/08/2008 12:01 PM  |  Headlines

Christians are so close to God that they call Him “father” in prayer, while Muslims are so far away from Allah that they need loudspeakers to talk to Him.

This is an old joke, but I couldn’t tell you earlier because I was afraid. If Rizieq Shihab had found out, he might have beaten me black and blue or, worse, burned down my house.

Thank God, he is now in police custody.

If you happen to have watched the news (not the saucy gossip shows or soap operas) or read the paper recently, you would know of Rizieq, the leader of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI).

A radical group, FPI, attacked members of the National Alliance for Freedom of Faith and Religion (AKKBB), who were rallying last Sunday at the National Monument (Monas) park to mark the 63rd anniversary of Pancasila state ideology.

The FPI made their attack because the alliance supports Jamaah Ahmadiyah, a minority Islamic sect dubbed “heretical” by a government panel which also recommended it be banned.

The hardliners had earlier attacked Ahmadiyah sect members, their houses and mosques, and called Ahmadiyah a deviant sect.

The sect leader was once accused of blasphemy, but other than that I have never heard of the sect’s members committing theft, robbery, murder or any other crimes listed in the Criminal Code.

If they have their own interpretations of some verses in the Koran, it is only God who could decide whether it is right or wrong.

In 2006, FPI members vandalized the Play Boy magazine offices in South Jakarta, when the magazine first published its Indonesian version. They said the publication could damage people’s morality, but perhaps the real reason was that they were disappointed to find the Indonesian version didn’t have the same ‘hot’ pictures as its American parent.

They had also repeatedly attacked cafes, bars and nightspots during the Ramadhan fasting month because they believed the establishments violated existing regulations and would tarnish the Holy month.

And they committed all these violent acts in the name of God. Frequently FPI members shouted “Allahuakbar” (God is Great) while conducting their anarchic deeds. They also prayed a lot.

Praying five times a day is one of the five pillars of Islam followed by, not only FPI members, but all Muslims around the world.

The Muslim call to prayer, and prayer itself, can be heard in every corner of the city. It would seem it is a case of the louder, the better, so that everyone in the neighborhood can hear it. It doesn’t matter if it is still dawn or if it’s during school hours and the mosque is right next to a school. If one mosque is next to another, they may even compete to be loudest.

On Friday, mosques are crowded with congregations who enthusiastically come to pray and listen to preachers.

Non-Muslims also perform their religious rituals devoutly. Churches are always full on Sundays, when Christians and the Catholics pray and praise the Lord.

Indonesia is indeed one of the most religious nations in the world, a fact confirmed by last year’s religion monitoring study conducted in 21 countries by the German-based Bertelsmann Foundation.

Ironically, Indonesia is also notorious for being among the world’s most corrupt countries.

Being religious, corruptors must pray first before stealing state money, or perhaps they set aside a little of the corrupted money to build mosques or churches.

Another indicator of the strength of religion in Indonesia was in the huge number of people who enjoyed the recent movie Ayat-Ayat Cinta (Verses of Love), which is heavily loaded with religious messages.

President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono who watched the blockbuster along with several cabinet ministers reportedly shed tears because he was so touched by the story. But many joked, saying he had cried because he shared the pain of not being allowed to have more than one wife like the leading role.

Anyway, following the Monas attack, many people (mostly Muslims) demanded the ban of the FPI and some even called its members preman berjubah (thugs in Muslim robes) as they wore long white robes and headscarves during the violence.

Not only FPI members, but it seems many other Muslims, Christians and other deeply religious people are often too busy talking to God in one-way conversations, praising and worshiping God, reading the Koran, the Bible and other holy books, while turning their backs on fellow human beings.

Of course, talking to God is important, but if they think praying five times a day or going to Church every Sunday, or even everyday, is enough to allow them climb the stairway to heaven, maybe they should think again.

By the way, if you find the opening of this piece offensive, please accept my apology. I don’t mean to upset anyone, let alone God, who must be sad enough seeing the violence and frequent religious conflicts within this so-called religious nation.

— T.Sima Gunawan

US Military’s Middle East Crusade for Christ

US Military’s Middle East Crusade for Christ

by Robert Weitzel

“They are proselytizing not on behalf of the Constitution of the United States . . . but rather on behalf of some sort of fanatical view of end times. And they are using our army to affect that.” -Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Last August the watchdog group Military Religious Freedom Foundation foiled a Pentagon plan that would have allowed the shipment of “freedom packages” to soldiers and Marines in Iraq. The parcels were put together by the fundamentalist Christian ministry, Straight Up, and contained Bibles, proselytizing tracts in English and Arabic, and the apocalyptic “Left Behind” computer game, in which Christian Tribulation forces convert or kill infidels-nonbelieve rs, Muslims and Jews.

On May 1 the Senate approved the promotion of Brigadier General Robert L. Caslen Jr. to Major General. Currently the commandant of cadets at West Point, he will become the commander of the 25th Infantry Division. He is also president of the stridently fundamentalist Officer’s Christian Fellowship, whose vision is a “spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

General Caslen was promoted despite the Defense Department’s recommended disciplinary action against him and several other senior military leaders because they had “improperly endorsed and participated with a nonfederal entity while in uniform” by participating in a promotional video for the Campus Crusade For Christ’s Christian Embassy, an evangelical organization that ministers to Beltway politicians and sponsors weekly Bible studies at the Pentagon.

According to the DoD Inspector General’s report, one of the generals involved “asserted that Christian Embassy was treated as an instrumentality of the Pentagon Chaplain’s office for over 25 years, and had effectively become a ‘quasi federal entity.’” Arguably, he believed his participation in the video was in the line of duty.

Considering both the Pentagon’s evangelical proclivity and a 2006 Pew survey which found that of the major religious groups in America, evangelicals have the most negative views of Islam and Muslims, the U.S. sniper who was recently caught using the Quran for target practice in the Baghdad neighborhood of Radhwaniya might be excused for thinking the book was a legitimate target upon which to perfect his craft . . . excused for thinking he was acting in the line duty.

And is it any wonder that with evangelicals and fundamentalists at the very top of the military’s officer corps — to say nothing of their Commander in Chief — that an enlisted Marine was passing out Christian “witnessing coins” inscribed in Arabic at a checkpoint in Fallujah? One side of the coin asked, “Where will you spend eternity?” An evangelical favorite, John 3:16, was on the flip side.

Sheik Adul-Rahman al-Zubaie, a tribal leader in Fallujah who was outraged by the Marine’s proselytizing said, “This event did not happen by chance, but it was planned and done intentionally.”

While the Marine’s proselytizing is not the official policy of the predominately Christian force occupying the predominately Islamic Iraq, it was done “in the line of duty” with a wink and a nod from his chain of command. Think Abu Ghraib!

From Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest basic training facility, where trainees are encouraged to attend Campus Crusade’s weekly “God’s Basic Training” programs, to the U.S. Air Force Academy where students are pressured to attend the Crusade’s weekly “cru” (short for crusade) Bible study, American military personnel are, as Campus Crusade’s Scot Blom gloats, “government paid missionaries” when they complete their training.

As the demands of fighting a perpetual war against “radical Islam” begins to strain both the military’s resources and the country’s resolve, the Pentagon has begun outsourcing larger chunks of the war to private contractors. Predictably, our “government paid missionaries” have become more expensive and much less controllable or accountable.

The Bush administration’s favorite contractor, Blackwater, is the most powerful private army in the world. It commands thousands of mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan, has over a billion dollars in government contracts, and enjoys complete immunity from prosecution for its theater of operations’ conduct.

Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince, a staunchly conservative Catholic, has also served on the board of directors of Christian Freedom International, a crusading missionary organization operating in the overwhelmingly Islamic countries of Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Prince envisions an evangelical “end time” role for his warriors: “Everybody carries guns, just like Jeremiah rebuilding the temple in Israel — a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other.”

No one in the last decade has contributed more to end time, apocalyptic evangelism than John Hagee, a televangelist seen by millions of viewers weekly and pastor of the 19,000-member Cornerstone Church. Hagee preaches that in order to bring about the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture of true believers, Islam first has to be destroyed.

In a 2006 interview with National Public Radio’s Terry Gross, Hagee told her, “Those who live by the Quran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.” He went on to claim that there are 200 million Muslims waiting for the chance to attack Israel and the United States. From his pulpit, Hagee makes it clear to his congregation and the radio and television audience what they can expect from American Muslims if such an attack ever took place: “While American Muslims live in America, 82 percent are not loyal to America and are not willing to fight and defend America.”

In his book, “Jerusalem Countdown – A Warning to the World,” Hagee warns that the war between Islam and the West “is a war that Islam cannot and must not win.”

John Hagee is not just a mad evangelizing prophet. He is the mad evangelizing prophet who is courted by a war president, a hawkish presidential candidate and members of Congress from both parties. His Islamophobic bilge has trickled down from Capital Hill, through the labyrinthine corridors of the Pentagon, and into the chamber of a sniper’s rifle and the hand of a Marine guarding a checkpoint in Fallujah.

Officers in the military are expected to lead by example. Enlisted personnel are expected to follow that example. If the recent incidents at Radhwaniya and Fallujah are not just the acts of renegades, then the chain of command seems to be working the way it was designed.

Robert Weitzel is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@


http://www.commondr archive/2008/ 06/09/9510/

Information from KONTRAS: Front of Islamic Defenders (FPI) Attack AKKBB

Dear friends,

herewith the updated information for the attack incident for AKKBB
last sunday.
please support us to urge our government for take an action.



Call for Action

Government of Indonesia to arrest the violent attacker of Aliansi
Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan (AKKBB)


Approximately 75 wounded AKKBB victims of violent attacked by Komando
Laskar Islam that consists of several elements including Forum Pembela
Islam (FPI), Laskar Mujahidin, Brigade Hizbullah, sent to the
hospital, and among them, 1 had to have an operation, 2 had to stay
overnight at hospital for further examination.

AKKBB run a peace parade for commemorating the born of Pancasila in
June 1, 2008. The parade was already set up weeks before and had been
advertised in several national magazines and newspaper calling people
to join. The parade was prepared with some oration from religious and
national leaders starting at 1 pm in Monas (National Monument of
Indonesia), Central Jakarta. AKKBB has informed police weeks before to
hold this peace parade from Monas to Bunderan Hotel Indonesia (Hotel
Indonesia Roundabout).

The starting point for the parade was in the gate of Monas, behind
Gambir Railway Station. From there, due to crowdedness of the place by
PDIP supporters who just recently dismissed from their morning parade,
AKKBB decided to move away and entered into Monas Park. Inside Monas
Park, some of members of AKKBB has taken a place for meeting, which is
in the steps of the monument. Approximately 50 people started to walk
from the gate to the meeting point to join the others who have already
been there. To avoid any unwanted people to join, AKKBB has identified
themselves with small red-white ribbon pin to all the members of
parade. AKKBB also fenced the march by long ropes on each side. The
small march from gate to inside (which is only 100 m), there was no
police guarded us along that way.

The march already reached the meeting point in the steps of monument,
it was suddenly the march of KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM was almost reaching
the same point, approximately 20 meters away. Observing that they took
wider way, the AKKBB instructed its members to move to give them a way
for marching. However, suddenly there was a shouting from KOMANDO
LASKAR ISLAM “Allahu Akbar” many times, and they started to run
towards AKKBB who have been stand peacefully on their right side. The
KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM members run and attacked AKKBB by swinging
sharpened bamboos, wooden sticks, and steel sticks against the AKKBB
members. They started to hit members of AKKBB many times, even though
the victims have already been falling down.

After first layers, the second and last layers of KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM
masses came in wearing black-shirt with ninja mask, and they even
swinging samurai, wooden stick and spread out sands to the eyes of
AKKBB members. The sands incites heat on the skin. The AKKBB members
run away from this angry and violent people to any safe place.

One of member of AKKBB run back to gate to report to the police who
were already scattered for having lunch in the nearest post after
half-day guarded another big parade. The report was responded quickly
by the field commandant that instructed the police to gather and run
inside the park. It took about 10 minutes after the first incident for
the police to come in.

The police car came in, but KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM masses also run
toward the car and kicked the car until the police run away. Some of
AKKBB members tried to ask other police to do something, but they were
gone. Some of them was approached by KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM by saying
“Go away, I know you are Ahmadiyya, go away, and you are dead”, “you
are Ahmadiyya, you Christian, Kafir”. Several brimob with motorcycle
came in and localized the KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM masses. However, the
KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM were still able to destroy the sound-system car,
and the sound-system inside by burning it, in front of the eyes of
police. Meanwhile, some of victims have already been taken away by
ambulances and some others by their relatives to nearest hospitals.
The witnesses also said the attackers were trying to prevent the
ambulance to take away the victims.

There were 3 layers of police came in (around 50 police officers)
marched to the location and localized the area. However there were
none of the attackers arrested. Some of police officers (both informed
by phone or in the field) even blamed AKKBB to incite the tension by
keeping the agenda for peace parade and neglecting police warning on
the possibility of HTI masses.

The AKKBB then agreed to just dismiss and gather in Galeri Nasional,
opposite Gambir to hold a press conference. It took around 45 minutes
to finally most of the members of AKKBB gathered. Some of survived hit
victims stayed to testify.

In 3 pm, the coordinator of AKKBB instructed the members to dismiss
individually to avoid any violent attacks by KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM who
were still eager to attack AKKBB as informed by local police
intelligence. Four hit victims and 1 victim thrown by sand advocated
by LBH Jakarta reported the incident to Polda Metro Jaya (Jakarta
Police Department). While some others started to identify the victims
that sent to hospital.

The four victims reported the chronology to the police, and were sent
for visum in the Hospital of Jakarta. The whole process took about 2,5
hours and the victims agreed to give detail testimony tomorrow
(Monday, 2 June 2008 at 2 pm) after they were recovered from the
dizziness due to harsh hitting in their heads. In the meantime, LBH
Jakarta and AKKBB agreed to gather more information on the other
victims by collecting their identity card and the medical statement
about their condition when they were taken care by doctor or emergency
room in the hospital. The ID card and medical statement would be used
for police to get their visum and testimony later.

At 4 pm, eight motorcycle of KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM stopped in front of
Galeri Nasional and monitoring the situation. However, there were only
few numbers of AKKBB people inside.

How the police treat the incident?

AKKBB informed the police one week before the event about the planning
of the parade. The information stated that AKKBB will hold a peace
parade to commemorate the reborn of Pancasila, and will take place in
Monas Park by having a stage. However, based on the suggestion from
the police and because of the crowds of PDIP masses, police suggested
to hold the stage for only 1 hour and started to walk to HI
Roundabout. The suggestion was accepted.

Although the police admitted that today (June 1, 2008) is the day for
everybody and has informed several elements would also in the same
place doing others things involving big mass, however, they actually
prevent AKKBB to implement the planning. They called several of AKKBB
members to prevent the agenda, but AKKBB already advertised the peace
parade and believed that police would do the best to protect the
parade. However, the police have heard that there had been big
provocation in the mosques to join the parade. On the D-day, KOMANDO
LASKAR ISLAM consolidated their strategy in Istiqal Mosque in Jakarta.

When the attack happened, police officers were unseen. After quick
reports from AKKBB member, the police marched inside and localized the
riots area without anybody to arrest. Some of police blamed AKKBB that
keeping the agenda going, and incited violence.

The absence of police in the field when AKKBB walk inside and even
moreover they allowed AKKBB to walk inside the Monas Park although
they knew already KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM was inside, showed that they
did not do the right thing. When the attack was running, Eva Sundari
(legislative member from PDIP) called Kabag Intel Saleh (Head of
Intelligence Department of Police) asking for help. Kabag Intel Saleh
said that they did not have enough police officers in the field to
face 30 thousands KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM, and asked AKKBB to avoid
KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM instead. This information was sent by sms by Eva
to Anick (coordinator of AKKBB).

After that message, AKKBB dismissed and move the gathering into Galeri
Nasional. There was no police guarded any member of AKKBB, and AKKBB
also did not report the changing the place due to uncertain safety
procedure as well from the police. After press conference, AKKBB with
the 5 victims and LBH Jakarta reported the incident to Polda Metro Jaya.

Public Concern

From the mass media, most of public voices supported AKKBB and condemn
the attacks of Komando Laskar Islam.

* President of Indonesia stated that he regrets the attack and
urged the police to enforce law against the attackers.
* The Vice President of Indonesia stated that pluralism cannot be
changed and urged the police to enforce law.
* Some religious leaders and political party leaders stated the
same comments such as Head of Muhammadiyah Din Syamsuddin, Head of PKB
(Nation Enlightenment Party) Abdurrahman Wahid, Head of Advisory Board
of PDIP Taufiq Kiemas, Head of Legislative Member from PKB,A Effendy
Choirie, and Head of Democrat Party Anas Urbaningrum.

Call for Action

We would like to call international community:

1. To condemn the violent attack of non-state actors against
peaceful group of people
2. To urge the Police of Republic of Indonesia to protect the
victims and the vulnerable by providing more officers in the field,
rather than blaming the victims of failing from avoiding the incidents.
3. To urge the Police of Republic of Indonesia to arrest the actor
or leaders of KOMANDO LASKAR ISLAM who led the attack against AKKBB.
4. To urge Government of Indonesia to bring all the element of
Komando Laskar Islam to court due to their violent principles that
will disturb public order, public moral, democratic values, and
religious values.

Text Box: Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan
(Indonesian Alliance for Freedom of Religion and Belief) akkbb Jl.
Cempaka Putih Barat XXI No. 34, Jakarta 10520 Telp. 021-42802349,
Faks. 021-4227243 Email:; Indonesian
Conference on Religion and Peace, National Integration Movement, The
Wahid Institute, Kontras, LBH Jakarta, Jaringan Islam Kampus, Jaringan
Islam Liberal, Lembaga Studi Agama dan Filsafat, Generasi Muda Antar
Iman, Institut DIAN/Interfidei, Masyarakat Dialog Antar Agama,
Komunitas Jatimulya, eLSAM, Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia
(YLBHI) Aliansi Nasional Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Lembaga Kajian Agama
dan Jender, Pusaka Padang, Yayasan Tunas Muda Indonesia, Konferensi
Waligereja Indonesia, GANDI, Persekutuan Gereja-gereja Indonesia,
Forum Mahasiswa Ciputat, Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia, Gerakan Ahmadiyah
Indonesia, Tim Pembela Kebebasan Beragama, El_Ai_Em Ambon, Yayasan
Ahimsa (YA) Jakarta, Gedong Gandhi Ashram (GGA) Bali, Koalisi
Perempuan Indonesia (KPI), Dinamika Edukasi Dasar (DED) Jogjakarta,
Forum Persaudaraan Antar-Umat Beriman Jogjakarta, Forum Suara Hati
Kebersamaan Bangsa (FSHKB) Surakarta, SHEEP Indonesia Jogjakarta,
Forum Lintas Agama Jawa Timur Surabaya, Lembaga Kajian Agama dan
Sosial Surabaya, LSM Adriani Poso, PRKP Poso, Komunitas Gereja Damai,
Komunitas Gereja Sukapura, GAKTANA, Wahana Kebangsaan, Yayasan Tifa,
Komunitas Penghayat, Forum Mahasiswa Syariah se-Indonesia NTB, Relawan
untuk Demokrasi dan Hak Asasi Manusia REDHAM) Lombok, Forum Komunikasi
Lintas Iman Gorontalo, Crisis Center SAG Manado, LK3 Banjarmasin,
Forum Dialog Antar Kita (FORLOG-Antar Kita) Sulawesi Selatan Makassar,
Jaringan Antar-iman se-Sulawesi, Forum Dialog Kalimantan Selatan
(FORLOG KALSEL) Banjarmasin, PERCIK Salatiga, Sumatera Cultural
Institut Medan, Muslim Institut Medan; PUSHAM UII Jogjakarta, fSwabine
Yasmine Flores-Ende; Komunitas Peradaban Aceh, Yayasan Jurnal
Perempuan, AJI Damai Yogyakarta, LBH Padang, PP Fatayat NU, Kapal
Perempuan, Indonesia Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Jaringan Islam Anti
Diskriminasi Jawa Timur (JIAD Jawa Timur)


The Chronology of Peace Parade for the Reborn of Pancasila

“One Indonesia for All”

Conducted by Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan
Berkeyakinan (AKKBB)
National Monument (MONAS), 1 June 2008

12.45 pm

AKKBB mass started to gather in the meeting point behind Gambir
Railway Station & near gate of National Monument, mixing with big mass
of PDIP parade who were just finished. There were 3-4 police officers
manage the traffic.

12.55 pm

Several AKKBB mass started to come and walked inside the National
Monument Park, and gathered in the meeting point near to the steps
toward National Monument.

1.10 pm

AKKBB mass from the gate walked inside to the Park to join the other
mass who have been settled, and also to avoid any uncoordinated
movement due to big crowds of PDIP masses. There was one un-uniformed
police officer gathered with us, and 2 uniformed police stand a bit
far from the location .

1.20 pm

Five-hundreds FPI-HTI masses walked circling the Monas, and appeared
from the north (from the left-handed AKKBB).

1.25 pm

FPI – HTI masses walked toward AKKBB mass who have been move away to
give them a way for marching, and even some of us sitting on the
steps. However, suddenly, FPI-HTI masses attacked violently by
shouting “Allahu Akbar”, “You are Ahmadiyya”. There was no police
officer seen in the field. FPI – HTI has prepared the attack by having
several layers. The last layers wore black shirts with ninja-mask and
they swung samurai, sharpened wooden stick, and spread out sands to
the eyes of the AKKBB masses. The first layers attacked the AKKBB by
swinging their wooden stick, steel stick, and sharpened bamboo.

1.30 pm

The first layer break up, but second layer came in by shouting “Allahu
Akbar”, and shouted the first layer to keep attack the AKKBB masses.
The police car came in, but FPI-HTI masses also run toward the car and
kicked the car until the police run away. Some of AKKBB members tried
to ask police to do something, but they were gone. Some of them was
approached by FPI-HTI by saying “Go away, I know you are Ahmadiyya, go
away, and you are dead”.


All AKKBB masses run away to save their lives. Several brimob with
motorcycle came in and localized the FPI-HTI masses. However, the
FPI-HTI were still able to destroy the sound-system car, and the
sound-system inside by burning it, in front of the eyes of police.

2 pm
AKKBB team was circling Monas to ensure there was none AKKBB members
inside. However, there were several of them stayed inside and mixed
with the other guests of Monas Park until FPI-HTI dismissed.

2.15 pm

FPI-HTI masses started to walk to the Presidential Palace to join the
other HTI group.

2.28 pm

AKKBB held press conference in the parking lot of Galeri National,
opposite Gambir. There was two policemen warned AKKBB to keep the
press conference simple and short before FPI-HTI mass came again.

3 pm

AKKBB mass dismissed individually from Galeri Nasional.

4 pm

Eight motorcycle of FPI stopped in front of Galeri Nasional and
monitoring the situation. However, the were only few numbers of AKKBB
people inside.

4.30 pm

Five victims of violation of FPI, together with LBH Jakarta reported
the incidents to Polda Metro Jaya (Police Department of Jakarta).

Victims of FPI Attacks (will be updated)

1. Imdadun Rahmat : bodily bruise, rupture head.
2. M. Guntur Romli : bodily bruise, heavily broken nose & eyebrow gash
à having surgery to fix the nose.

3. KH Maman Imanulhaq : bodily bruise, chin gash, breast contusion à
now under neurologist examination.
4. Ahmad Suaedy : back-bone contusion, chin gash
5. Dr. Syafii Anwar : scalp bruise
6. Hamid Taher : concussion, left-hand fracture
7. Sunandar : bodily bruise, eyes wounded by sand
8. Joanes : scalp contusion with 7 stitch
9. Bernard : scalp contusion with 7 stitch

10. Omink : concussion
11. Doni : abdomen and leg contusion
12. Soundsystem car drive: bodily injuries

13. Yogi : Back-bone and hand bruises
14. Heru : Back-bone bruises
15. Siti Maryam : hitting wounded on the right temple and knee
16. Ela : Waist and knee injuries
17. Ataurrahman : eyebrow gash
18. Sarip : back-bone contusion
19. Yaya : neck bruises
20. Dani H : back-bone bruises
21. Nurbarjah : scalp contusion (hitting)

22. Yanto : nose bleeding because of hitting
23. Jaka : bleeding hand because of hitting
24. Lukman : leg and back-bone bruises
25. Suleman : scalp contusion
26. Said : bodily bruises
27. Kusworo : bodily bruises
28. Sair : bleeding finger
29. Soundsystem Car: destroyed
30. Soundsystem : burned

31. Backdrop 9 x 7 : burned
32. Guitar: destroyed

The Commission for Dissapeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
Jl. Borobudur No. 14 Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10320 Indonesia
phone : 62-21-3926983
fax : 62-21-3926821

Caliphate and sharia law

Mohamad Abdun Nasir ,  Jakarta   |  Sat, 05/10/2008 10:34 AM  |  Opinion

This newspaper ran an article by Muhammad Ismail Yusanto, a spokesperson of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), about sharia and the caliphate (April 23), as a reaction to an article written by Bramanto that appeared several days before. Such a discourse is very healthy. We can have different views and the readiness to appreciate other views — although probably we do not agree at all — and an exchange of views will be very helpful not just to promote Islam as a tolerant religion but also to enrich people’s horizons.

With this strong spirit to enrich our horizons, I am interested in joining the debate on the issues of sharia and the caliphate.

HTI offers two central discourses: the establishment of a caliphate and the application of sharia law. Both seem to be inseparable; without a caliphate, the sharia application will never be totally accomplished. Therefore, both are complementary to each other. These grand themes in fact constitute the global discourse applied by most Hizbut Tahrir movements in the world and have become the main idea that links their global ideological ground and commonality.

To the HTI, the caliphate constitutes a basic Islamic political institution that will unite all Muslims in the world regardless of their ethnicity, language or culture into a single community called the ummah, which is headed by a caliph. In this view, a caliph merely serves as a God’s representative on earth whose duties are to obey God’s commands and realize His rules.

Consequently, it denies modern secular political thoughts such as democracy and nationalism. Democracy is seen to be contrary to God’s sole sovereignty. Moreover, inconsistencies and double standards in the realization of democracy have strengthened Islamists’ criticism of it. Similarly, nationalism, as a logical consequence of the emergence of nation-states, is rejected because it is a Western invention contrary to the concept of ummah.

However, if we closely examine politics in Islam, it is obvious that there is no such strict concept of political Islam like a caliphate. It is a historical creation rather than a normative concept. The power transformation from the Prophet to the subsequent four caliphs took place in different ways.

Abu Bakar became the first caliph through a public pledge of allegiance by the majority of Muslims.

Umar, the second caliph, was elected by a team comprising seven members. While Usman and Ali, the third and the fourth caliphs, reigned after being preceded by political chaos. In this period, a caliph was strictly appointed through a familial lineage. Following this pattern, there is no fixed political system in Islam. It was during the Muslim empires that the concept of caliphate took its firmest definition, formulated through the writings and work of Muslim scholars and jurists who served for the caliph.

As for sharia, with the open era and democratization in Indonesia after reformasi, several Muslim political parties and organizations wish to retrieve the seven lost sharia words — the obligation to implement sharia for Muslims — once incorporated in the Constitution but later deleted.

Although this effort has never been successful in the national context due to lack of a national consensus and disagreement among Muslims themselves, it works on provincial and regional levels.

Some local governments have successfully imposed sharia law in regional ordinances and bylaws. Despite its blurry and weak conception, sharia does apply in certain provinces and regencies, like Cianjur, Tasikmalaya and Garut in West Java and in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. Each sharia ordinance has addressed different legal issues in different regions, and thus reflects the disparity and partiality of the sharia legal conception.

This has become a major critique, that the sharia application lacks fundamental conception and articulation and thus is ineffective. This reflects more the vested interests and ambitions of politicians rather than idealism. Political parties and Islamic organizations that support this issue are a minority.

Islam in Indonesia is not monolithic, but pluralistic. It consists of diverse Islamic organizations, political affiliations, languages and ethnic-cultural identities. The majority of Muslims represented by the two largest Muslim organizations in the country, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, which decline the idea of an Islamic state, remain moderate. This suggests that the majority of Muslims remain obedient to “Indonesia’s diversity in unity” and are attempting to develop Islam in this pluralistic manner. Both sharia and the caliphate thus appear to be less than popular to the Muslim majority.

The writer is a lecturer at Mataram State Institute for Islamic Studies and a Fulbright scholar who is pursuing his PhD in religion at Emory University, Atlanta. He can be reached at