Indonesia President: Religious Tolerance Best Response to Terrorism

Indonesia President Joko Widodo said this month Indonesia's approach to terrorism is one of tolerance, not security.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Wednesday that Indonesia practiced religious tolerance and was using cultural approaches to eradicate terrorism in the country, rather than adopting a security approach.

“We have shown that tolerance and mutual respect is strong and we always take the middle ground [...]. So there is no immense extremism and that is what other countries see [in us],” said Jokowi on the last day of the sixth Indonesian Muslims Congress (KUII) in Yogyakarta.

Widodo and Indonesia insist on executions of drug mules as a response to the problem of drug trafficking, but for the danger of terrorists, they urge “soft” religious and cultural approaches." Just like Indonesia offers "get of jail free" cards to terrorists.[More...]

No wonder Indonesia is such a recruiting ground for terrorists. More than 300 have left to fight with ISIS in Syria. Here's the ISIS video "Join the Ranks" (no violence) with English translations in which Indonesian ISIS members try to recruit those at home. Just yesterday, authorities in West Java were warning of ISIS reruitment efforts in the area.

Bali and Indonesia have been the site of a lot of bombings, from night clubs to hotels to embassies. Indonesia executed three bombers, but granted clemency and early release at least 36 others. Only 5 got life sentences.

Here's a very interesting account by a New York Times reporter of his attempt in 2008 to interview Imam Samudra, one of the home-grown 2002 Bali nightclub bombers sentenced to death and later executed. The interview took place at Batu Prison, the same prison on Nusa Kambangan Island now preparing isolation cells for the 11 traffickers facing imminent execution.

(There are seven prisons on the Island, and those facing imminent execution are housed at Batu Prison. The island has two shooting fields used for executions by firing squad: the Nirbaya and Li- musbuntu shooting fields.)

Here's a photo of the island (half of which is a tourist destination and the other half reserved for prisons.

It doesn't look much different than the beach ISIS used to kill the Coptic Christians.

For that matter, photos of Indonesian firing squads don't look much different than the pictures of ISIS firing squads. Perhaps that's because they both kill drug traffickers. Killing is killing.

It's completely illogical that the President of Indonesia would recommend treating would-be terrorists with soft gloves but insist on killing non-violent drug traffickers, including rehabilitated and repentant drug mules like Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. As one of the Bali bombing surivors says, "You’re better off being a terrorist than a drug mule in Indonesia — it just blows my mind."

There are beautiful beaches all over the world. Visit the Seychelles, Mauritius, the Maldives or Fiji. Please don't give your tourist dollars to a country that kills non-violent drug offenders. And if you're buying products at home, check to make sure they aren't made in Indonesia.

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  • Display: Sort:
    contrast Widodo's remarks . . . (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:17:08 PM EST
    with the speech that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi gave several months ago to Muslim leaders on the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, when he called for a "religious revolution" & asked the imams to fight Islamic extremism so that it might no longer "cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world":

    I say and repeat, again, that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting on you. The entire world is waiting for your word ... because the Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands.

    Impressive speech (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 08:16:11 PM EST
    I missed this.  Thank you for posting the link.

    proportionality (none / 0) (#1)
    by thomas rogan on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:06:25 PM EST
    If you are agreeing with the Bali bombing survivor that terrorists should get longer jail sentences and death penalties rather than cowardly commutations of their sentences, then I don't think that anyone would disagree with you.

    No I'm not saying that (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 08:24:55 PM EST
    I'm saying non-violent drug offenders shouldn't be treated more harshly than violent extremists who bomb and kill.

    Half Prison Hellhole - Half Resort Paradise (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 10:22:47 PM EST
    What is wrong with this picture?

    This Joko... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 10:11:15 AM EST
    is a real f*ckin' joker.  Tolerance for violence, intolerance for non-violence...(cue Twilight Zone music).

    Great idea! (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 11:52:06 AM EST
    "We have shown that tolerance and mutual respect is strong and we always take the middle ground..."

    Taking the middle ground towards tolerance and mutual respect.

    Works for me.