Folks, remember this face.
This is the face of an Indonesian Muslim, one of thousands of Muslims protesting through the streets of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, gathering at a mosque to protest President Bush’s upcoming visit to the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia.
Remember this Muslim the next time Indonesia suffers from a tsunami and you donate your hard-earned buckaroos towards a relief effort.
See, these protestors are the same Muslims, members of the Islamic Defenders Front, who in October of 2000, wearing white outfits accessorized with green scarves and wooden rods, prowled the Jakarta, Indonesia, airport looking, unsuccessfully, for Israeli Jews to kill.
“Why is the U.S. backing Israel, which has bombed Palestinians and Lebanon,” Tiffatul Sembiring, president of the Justice and Prosperity Party, asked the crowd of 3,000 who spilled from the mosque into the courtyard. “Bush is a terrorist,” he said to cheers. “He’s killed people in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Indonesia, meanwhile, wants U.S. help in fighting poverty and a spiraling bird flu outbreak that has killed 56 people — a third of the world’s total victims of the bird flu.
Still want to send money to the poor tsunami “victims”?
Knowing the history of the region that the tsunami hit, it was quite apparent to me that if I did not give thought to the organizations to which I was going to donate, the risk would be high that Islamic fundamentalists and radical barbarians would be the beneficiaries of my donation who would use the funds intended for tsunami relief to purchase and strap on a TNT belt and walk into a US Army barracks in Mosul instead.
So far, there are around 5000 troops from the Jakarta-based Islamic Defenders Front, known by its Indonesian initials, FPI. The FPI is co-ordinating its efforts with the hard-line Hizbut Tahrir, an international organization with strident anti-Western views, and the Indonesia Mujahedeen Council (MMI), which is chaired by Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged “spiritual” leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group.
The hard-liners espouse an uncompromising Wahhabi brand of Islam that is not widely practised in Southeast Asia, and the Acehnese fear it could further destabilize their precarious situation. The FPI is better known in Jakarta for its thuggish behaviour and shakedown practices, and Hizbut Tahrir, a spinoff of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has made headlines for organizing demonstrations against U.S. foreign policy and urging the seizure of all foreign assets in Indonesia.
These are the same Muslims who are outraged at Bush but showed no outrage when Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 150 at the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Remember the Muslims of Indonesia.