RSS

Tag Archives: Laskar Jihad

Indonesia: Spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) gets reduced sentence

Indonesia: Spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) gets reduced sentence

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The radical Sunni Islamic cleric, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who is the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, will feel relieved after his sentence was reduced from 15 years to 9 years. Ba’asyir will be hoping that a further appeal will also work in his favor and this crafty spiritual leader is not one to underestimate because in the past he overcame many obstacles.

In March this year he received a 15 year sentence for allegedly supporting radical Sunni Islamists in Aceh. According to the court decision Islamists in Aceh were intent on spreading a violent campaign in order to see the implementation of Sharia Islamic law. However, just like in the past, Ba’asyir denies all charges of inciting hatred and encouraging Sunni Islamic terrorism.

Indonesia is the largest mainly Muslim nation in the world in terms of population but not everything is what it appears.  This applies to the rapid growth of Christianity which is between 10% and 13% of the population according to various statistics. The official line was that Christianity was just below 10% over a decade ago but more “closet Christians” are coming out because of the growing strength of Christianity in many parts of Indonesia.

Ba’asyir and many conservative and radical Muslims are concerned about this. Therefore, one way to stem the tide and to clampdown on the Christian faith is to introduce Islamic Sharia law and then Muslim apostates would face the death penalty.

However, mainstream Islam in Indonesia is more moderate and many Muslims support a secular notion and that all Indonesians are equal. Yet, in recent times money from nations like Saudi Arabia began to spread the message of conservative Islam and you have had many attacks against Christians and Ahmaddiya Muslims.

Ba’asyir was born in 1938 and during his lifetime you have had many political changes and the gradual growth of conservative Islam meant that more people were open to his thinking. Also, Sunni Islamic funding from conservative nations in the Gulf meant that new opportunities and funding became available for religious leaders, individuals, and radical organizations.

Ba’asyir and Abdullah Sungkar opened a boarding school in 1972 in order to preach to the next generation about the need to implement Islamic Sharia law in Indonesia. In time both individuals would flee to Malaysia because the Suharto regime was in no mood to bow down to Islamists.

In 1999 Ba’asyir returned to Indonesia and clearly he and Sungkar had gained from their exile in Malaysia. This applies to meeting leading Islamists and learning a more composed way of spreading radical Sunni Islam.

Ba’asyir and Sungkar both became involved (some say founded but Ba’asyir plays with words) with Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) which was a lose patchwork of various radical Islamic organizations. The main goal was to create a super-Islamic state which would incorporate Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore (some Islamists would also include southern Thailand and Cambodia).

The vastness of this region and the mass complexity is a wonder to behold, however, in the wrong hands it could become a nightmare.  After all, you have a very diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups and you already have religious bouts of violence between Christians and Muslims in parts of Indonesia and the southern Philippines. More recently, tensions have erupted between Muslims and Buddhists in southern Thailand. Also, passions often run high in Malaysia which is the most diverse nation in the region when it comes to religion and the Shia faith is illegal in so-called moderate Malaysia.

Ba’asyir can’t be ignored or brushed aside so easily because JI have been involved in many terrorist attacks and have embroiled themselves in communal violence against Christians. Also, when tensions were at their highest many years ago between Christians and Muslims, you had many Sunni Islamic organizations like JI and Laskar Jihad who supported jihad. More alarming, he often plays around with words and distances himself when needed. Therefore, Ba’asyir and terrorist organizations like Laskar Jihad (Laskar Jihad disbanded but was used by elements of the military in West Papua and can be formed easily via many fronts) can melt away from the scene and then come back either through a new organization or during times of severe tensions.

Walid Phares, author of “The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy” and other books, stated “We all know that the process to become a Jihadist, is long and tenuous. It needs a Salafi-Wahabi environment to be produced. The question in Indonesia is this: Who is producing the “ideological culture” out of which Jama’ah Islamiah came from? What are the structural webs that produced Laskar Mujahidin (or Laskar e Jihad), or Laskar Jundullah or even the Sulawesi-based Mujahedeen KOMPAK?”

Walid Phares sums up this complexity by stating that “…the Jihadi “Laskars” around the archipelago are projecting themselves as the “protectors” of the territorial unity of “Muslim Indonesia.” Hence their action against non-Muslims, including in Poso, the Celebes, etc is projected as “in the interest of the nation.” They are trying to emulate Hassan Turabi’s strategy in Sudan: the defense of Islam’s lands.”

These comments by Walid Phares were stated several years ago and many radical Sunni Islamic organizations change their operational styles or disband and then come back under a different name.  This game is also part and parcel of Ba’asyir

Given this, JI moved easily between supporting Muslims during communal violence against Christians in Maluku and Poso in Indonesia; and then to targeting economic and Western interests throughout the region. At the same time you had inter-links between JI, Al-Qaeda, MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic organizations.

However, it must be stated that JI isn’t on the same wavelength when it applies to Abu Sayyaf and what is termed Al-Qaeda. Also, MILF in the Philippines is much more moderate, despite being deadly, than Al-Qaeda/Abu Sayyaf and clearly their focus is on their homeland and powerbase.  International Sunni Islamic jihad is not on the agenda of all Islamists and JI works within “a means to an end” but not on the inter-Muslim bloodletting of Al-Qaeda.

This is not meant to downplay JI because they have been responsible for many deadly deeds and this applies to killing 15 people in 2000 after an attack against the Jakarta Stock Exchange. Also, in the same year many Christians were killed during Christmas Eve bombing in Indonesia. They have also spread their terror to the Philippines with several attacks and an attack was thwarted in Singapore by intelligence agents. Other notable attacks apply to the 2002 Bali bombings and two hotels were attacked in Jakarta in 2009.

Returning back to Ba’asyir he stated in 2002 that “If non-believers have weapons capacity, the funding, then they will go to war against Islam. In the Koran Allah has said they will always wage war against you, they will always attack you as long as they have the capacity.” He further stated that “The government of Indonesia right now is being directed by America to service its needs and the primary need of America is to bury Islam particularly in Indonesia.”

Ba’asyir also stated “…Hence our religion Islam, our nation and our country is currently being threatened by foreign races with all manner of libels, with the bombings in Bali, with explosions everywhere, all of those are the plots of non-believers whose aims are to weaken and profane the believers of Islam.”

Therefore, Ba’asyir is somehow trying to claim that the Bali bombings were done by non-Muslims and this is similar to the September 11th conspiracy theory. However, this is clearly ridiculous and Osama Bin Laden and other brutal killers don’t play the “conspiracy game” when it comes to denial.  In many ways JI is much more dangerous than Al-Qaeda when it comes to a lasting legacy, ideology, and patience.

Irrespective if the organization JI exists in name isn’t important because the ideology will remain within another organization. Also, Indonesia is a very powerful nation when it comes to geopolitics and the future of this nation will influence the religious pluralism of the entire region.  

On page 166 and 167 of Zachary Abuza’s book called Militant Islam in Southeast Asia, Crucible of Terror. Zachary Abuza comments that “Although Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was named by both Malaysia and Singapore as a prime suspect and a leader of Jemaah Islamiya network, he continued to live and preach openly until October 2002.” He also told Zachary Abuza personally that “I am not a member of Al-Qaida, but I really respect the struggle of Osama Bin Laden, who has bravely represented the world’s Muslims in their fight against the arrogant United States of America and their allies.”

Yet what logic can be found in these words by Ba’asyir? After all, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were involved in the massacres of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. This was followed by countless numbers of terrorist attacks against Shia Muslims and other non-Sunni’s in Iraq; and of course innocent Sunni Muslims have been killed by radical Sunni Islamists in many nations.

Islamic radicalism is a serious threat in Indonesia and in many other nations. However, Ba’asyir is not your usual radical Sunni Islamist leader because he is cunning and manipulates language when it suits. Therefore, it is very difficult for the authorities in Indonesia to pin Ba’asyir and not only this, he does have connections even if the trail leads to dust.

The saga will go on and Ba’asyir will continue to be loved by his supporters and hated by individuals who support religious pluralism. Whatever happens, it is doubtful that Ba’asyir will settle for his reduced sentence and it is also doubtful that he will reject Islamic jihad and terrorism within his heart.

However, the Aceh affair does remain open to interpretation because Ba’asyir isn’t foolish nor naïve and if he believed that he would be held accountable – then the Ba’asyir that most people know, is an individual who likes to cover his angles.

http://www.meforum.org/2044/jemaah-islamiyah-adopts-the-hezbollah-model

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Islamic terrorists kill more Buddhists in southern Thailand

Islamic terrorists kill more Buddhists in Southern Thailand

Lee Jay Walker

The Modern Tokyo Times

Buddhists are protected by the Thai military from Islamic fanatics
Buddhists are protected by the Thai military from Islamic fanatics in southern Thailand

——————————————–

 

 

The ongoing Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand continues and another nine Buddhists were killed by Islamic jihadists who desire an Islamic state.  It is clear that while the insurgency ebbs and flows from many Islamic terrorist attacks to a decrease in activity, that the underlying insurgency remains and just waits to gather pace at any moment.  Therefore, Islamic fanatics randomly kill Buddhists, school teachers, Buddhist priests, Muslims who work for institutions in southern Thailand, and members of the armed forces.

The level of hatred is clear by the wanton violence and brutality because the Islamic insurgents desire to spread fear in order to reach their Islamic goal.  This goal applies to the complete Islamization of southern Thailand and the eradication of all Buddhists and Buddhist temples from the region of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani.

In the past you had nationalistic sentiments to the insurgency because Thailand annexed the three Muslim provinces in 1902.  However, while you had radical Islamic elements prior to 2001 it is clear that the insurgency had mainly nationalistic tones and the insurgents focused on the government and military of Thailand.

This policy changed from 2001 because now it became apparent that Islamic radicalization had taken root because of outside meddling and the role of Islamic institutions in other nations which were spreading the doctrine of Islamic jihad.  Therefore, it now became open season for Muslim insurgents to kill Buddhists in southern Thailand and to kill Muslims who were deemed to be supporting the government of Thailand or supporting the status quo.

Since 2004 you have had over 4,300 lives lost in a brutal Islamic insurgency whereby Buddhist priests have been beheaded, children have been killed, and civilians are attacked in order to create a southern Thailand where no Buddhists remain.  Moderate Muslim religious leaders also face death and the same applies to anyone who is deemed to be collaborating with the government of Thailand.

Zachary Abuza, who is the author of A Conspiracy of Silence, highlights the complete hatred of pamphlets which are used in order to intimidate the local Buddhist community.

Document 22 states “Dear every Siamese Buddhist Thai who lives near the police stations……I’ll give you three days for you to leave my land.  Otherwise, I will kill, burn, destroy all Buddhist Thai property……The Buddhist Thai will never live in peace.  If you leave the house, travel or go to work, you will die violently.  I will wait for you for 24 hours, in every direction.”  (Page 241)

Document 23 states The Islamic warriors of Pattani announce the purpose that we will never stop killing the Siamese kafir (infidel) and will never stop destroying army weapons, the economy, politics, education and the Siamese kafir society until we regain the land of Pattani and establish the state of Pattani Darulslam.  I ask for Muslim Malays to be the witnesses.”  (Page 242) – A Conspiracy of Silence

Zachary Abuza in his book called Militant Islam in Southeast Asia (Crucible of Terror) also highlights the role of the madrasas (Islamic schools).  He comments that “In their pursuit of the creation of Islamic states, many Southeast Asian jihadis established Islamic schools to indoctrinate, propagate, and recruit. The leaders of many militant groups in Southeast Asia, including the Laskar Jihad, Kampulan Mujahidin Malaysia, and Jemaah Islamiya, returned from Afghanistan and established a network of madrasas as the base of their operations and recruitment.”

Zachary Abuza also comments that “While the government has recently pledged more development funds for the restive south, the insurgency has never been about development. Sadly, as long as the conflict remains confined to the southernmost provinces, it will remain a low priority for the government, consumed with elite political machinations in Bangkok. And while Southern Thailand remains the single most lethal conflict in Southeast Asia, it remains a low priority for America and its allies in the region.”

Turning back to the role of radical Islamic madrasas, then it is clear that Islamists are being churned out of many Islamic institutions and this is causing mayhem.  If national governments do not regulate these schools and maintain tight supervision or if an alternative system is not found, then little will change apart from more Islamic indoctrination and international jihadists.  Therefore, the continuing breeding ground of Islamic hatred must be stopped and checked.  This applies to radical organizations and madrasas which are intent on spreading this hatred and radical institutions can be found throughout the Muslim world and in democratic societies which are sleepwalking into an Islamic nightmare.

In another article that I wrote about southern Thailand I stated that “…whoever controls the mosque or madrasas is in a powerful position.  It must be mentioned that not all madrasas are involved in hate inspired indoctrination, however, many are out of control and you have a state within a state and of course Pakistan is paying for this now because they allowed this dangerous situation to happen in the first place.”

B. Raman (Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi) comments about the role of Thai Muslims within the Islamic jihadist movement and the role of the Islamic madrasas.

B. Raman states that “The external inspiration has so far been mainly from Bangladesh and Pakistan, the main motivating organizations being the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), which has a presence both in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which has a presence only in Pakistan and not in Bangladesh. The extensive media reporting in Pakistan on the presence of foreign students in Pakistani madrasas, which followed the reports of the involvement of three British citizens of Pakistani origin in the London explosions of July 7,2005, has revealed the presence of nearly a thousand Pattanis in the Pakistani madrasas.”

”This has been a surprisingly large number. Till the Pakistani media gave an estimate of the number of Thai students in their madrasas, one was under the impression that the flow of Thai Muslims to the madrasas in Pakistan had considerably declined after the arrest of the brother of Hambali, the operational chief of the Jemaah Islamiya (JI), and some other Indonesians and Malaysians from madrasas in Karachi controlled by the LET and their deportation to their respective countries in 2003. Instructions had gone to the Thai Muslims after their deportation to go to Bangladesh thereafter for studies in the madrasas there since the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front (IIF), were afraid that the Americans might be keeping a watch on the madrasas in Pakistan.”

“Many of these Thai Muslims have enrolled themselves in the madrasas of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan, which are the hotbed of the activities of the Taliban and the Wahhabi-Deobandi organizations of Pakistan.  Some of them have also undergone training in the jihadi training centres of the Taliban and Gulbuddin Heckmatyar’s Hizbe Islami (HEI) and have been participating in the current Taliban-HEI-Al Qaeda offensive in Afghanistan from sanctuaries in the NWFP and Balochistan.”  South Asia Analysis Group – Terrorism in southern Thailand by B. Raman (Paper no. 1501) which was published on 15/08/2005

In the first few weeks of January in 2011 you have had nine Buddhists being killed by Islamic terrorists and in a separate attack four members of the armed forces of Thailand were killed.  Therefore, the Islamic insurgency continues to kill and spread fear in southern Thailand and many Buddhists have left in order to escape the ongoing Islamic insurgency.

It is clear that Islamists in southern Thailand desire a homeland whereby all Buddhists will be cleansed and then Islamic Sharia law will hold sway.  At the same time it is abundantly clear that Islamic indoctrination from outside of Thailand is a serious issue and the same applies to the international nature of the global Islamic jihad.  Therefore, the government of Thailand faces both an internal threat and the reality that external networks are fueling the fire.

Lee Jay Walker

http://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

 
Comments Off on Islamic terrorists kill more Buddhists in southern Thailand

Posted by on January 26, 2011 in ASIA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND GLOBAL NEWS, Islam, RELIGIOUS ISSUES

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

INDONESIA and Islamic terrorism

Indonesia and Islamic Terrorism

 

By Lee Jay Walker     –  THE SEOUL TIMES
Tokyo Correspondent

 

An Islamic school in Indonesia

The government of Indonesia faces many internal problems because of the geographical reality of this nation and ethnic and religious tension does engulf Indonesia from time to time. However, what is worrying is the possible collusion between radical Sunni Islamists and the security services of Indonesia. Therefore, is collusion happening in places like Sulawesi and West Papua (Irian Jaya) or is it a long-term goal of containing Christians and ethnic minorities?

If we turn the clock back to 2001 and focus on events in that year, then it is clear that either collusion was happening or events happened because it was a direct policy of the government of Indonesia?

This applies to Laskar Jihad because this brutal Sunni Islamic terrorist organization sent even more fighters to central Sulawesi in order to persecute Christians. Laskar Jihad, like other past or current Islamic terrorist organizations, is brutal, barbaric, and cowardly.

Laskar Jihad, just like other radical Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations, believe that it is their Koran-Hadith inspired duty to kill innocents and to install fear. Therefore, the region of Sulawesi was a paradise for them to cause mayhem and to create a major gulf between both communities. Given this, events spiralled out of control and inter-religious clashes erupted because these outsiders to Sulawesi desired to kill in the name of Islam.

However, much more disturbing is the role of the government of Indonesia or elements within the security services and military. After all, Laskar Jihad was given a free reign to enter the region and this radical Sunni Islamic terrorist network was not removed from this delicate region. Therefore, surely collusion was taking place, if so, then how can religious or ethnic minorities feel secure in Indonesia?

After all, it is noticeable that in Sulawesi and West Papua that Islamists and the government of Indonesia do have vested interests which overlap. Also the situation in East Timor in the past mirrored covert operations based on systematic terror and fear.

Yet East Timor belonged to the “old world” of nationalism and preserving the nation state of Indonesia. However, just like the Palestinian situation, it became clear that Islamic terrorism and militant organizations were on the rise. The secular nature of Palestinian resistance now lies in tatters because Hamas and others now have a clear Islamic agenda, therefore, Sulawesi and West Papua are seeing a “new world” whereby Islamists have an ideological motive in spreading hate and dhimmitude.

Zachary Abuza, the author of Militant Islam in Southeast Asia, Crucible of Terror, states “The government never prevented the Laskar Jihad militia from coming, nor did it try to expel them. Muslim paramilitaries were reportedly armed with machine guns (including M-16s) and rocket-propelled grenades, forcing thousands of Christians to flee.”

This raises serious issues because it appears that the government of Indonesia and various radical Islamic organizations do share a common ground. Of course, many Indonesian political leaders do not share the same theme but important elites within powerful institutions do share similar concerns, albeit from different perspectives.

Zachary Abuza comments that “First, Jafar Umar Thalib and the Laskar Jihad have considerable political support. Vice President Hamzah Haz has been a staunch defender of the organization and helped get Thalib acquitted in January 2003.” Zachary Abuza also states that “…while the military has at times had to employ force against the Laskar Jihad, the reality is that the two organizations have the same goal in preventing secessionist movements from succeeding, as happened with East Timor.”

However, the Indonesian government will clampdown when vested interests are threatened and this applies to Islamic terrorist attacks in Bali or against hotels, and other economic based attacks. Also, it appears that the government will take action against international Islamic jihadists rather than home-grown Islamists.

Once more, Zachary Abuza comments that “Until the Bali bombing, Indonesia took few constructive measures in the war on terrorism. The Singaporean, Malaysian, Philippine, and U.S. governments all expressed utter frustration with the Indonesian government, and despite many appeals, the Indonesians did not arrest any Indonesian suspects wanted abroad.”

Therefore, just like the government of Pakistan which manipulated radical Sunni Islamists to cause mayhem in Afghanistan and Kashmir; the government of Indonesia had similar vested interests when it applied to domestic issues.

However, the Pakistan government can no longer control elements within Pakistan because Islamists have been emboldened and they desire to enforce Islamic Sharia law and dhimmitude throughout the nation. Indonesia does not face this problem because the centre is much stronger but it is a dangerous game to play and it is clear that religious minorities and secularists in Indonesia are worried about this.

Also, Islamists will have ample opportunities to stir mayhem because various parts of Indonesia remain tense and another major incident could easily ignite tensions. The people of West Papua may also witness Islamization because of increasing Muslim migration and Islamic organizations which have a shared agenda with the government of Indonesia.

In an article published by Asia News in 2006 it stated that “Islamic extremist groups are entering West Papuan territory, with the consent of elements of the Indonesian army, to set up bases there.” Therefore, this part of Indonesia faces severe problems and Islamic radicals and government agencies have similar objectives. Given this, many Papuans are worried about religious persecution and state-sanctioned persecution.
Therefore, Christian areas of Indonesia face a frontal attack against them and this applies to Javanization, Islamization, direct government policies, and the threat of Islamic terrorism in sensitive parts of Indonesia is always possible.

This policy does not apply to the whole of Indonesia and it must be mentioned that this nation is very complex because Christians have much greater freedom in Indonesia than in the majority of mainly Muslim nations. Yet for Christians in sensitive areas of national interest or in areas of distinct divisions, then the situation is very different.

Despite this, it is clear that the implementation of Islamic Sharia law is a worry for all religious minorities, moderate Muslims and secularists. Therefore, radical Islamic organizations must not be given a free reign because if this happens, then the only victory will be for the dark forces of humanity and this means radical Sunni Islam and the implementation of Sharia Islamic law.

It is now vital that pressure is put on all nations which are colluding with radical Islamic terrorist organizations or with radical Islamic educational institutions because this is where the brainwashing begins. Therefore, more pressure must be put on Indonesia to clampdown against radical Islamic institutions and to stop the manipulation of these networks when it comes to secessionist problems within Indonesia.

LEE JAY WALKER

leejayteach@hotmail.com

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

http://www.theseoultimes.com

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,