APSN Banner

Muslim youth slam US, UK over attacks

Jakarta Post - October 9, 2001

Jakarta – Muslim organizations in Yogyakarta and Solo, Central Java, noisily condemned the US-led retaliation on the Taliban's military installations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist indoctrination camps with calls for the expulsion of American and British citizens from the two towns.

The youth elements of the newly-formed group calling itself the Muslim Solidarity for Afghanistan in Solo called on the local Police to evacuate all American and British citizens. "No one can blame us if something [untoward] happens to American or British people in the city," Warsito Adnan, coordinator of the Surakarta Islam Defenders Front (FPIS), threatened on Monday. According to local administration's data, 23 expatriates, mostly American, are living in the city.

In Yogyakarta, around 150 Muslim students marched around the city to condemn what they called Western imperialism in Afghanistan. Calling for international solidarity with Afghans, the protesters brought with them anti- American banners reading: "Down with the USA", "Go to hell with your aid", "USA: The Great Satan", and "Beware of Neo-imperialism." Ridwan Haryadi, coordinator of the protesters, said: "Radical groups have threatened to take reciprocal actions against American and British citizens living in Yogyakarta and several towns in Central Java."

Many Muslim youth organizations also lambasted the government's ban on sending Indonesians to fight alongside Osama bin Laden against the US and its allies in their anti-terrorism campaign. "A registration has been open for those who want to join in the jihad [holy war]," Abu Bakar Ba'asyir of the Islamic Mujahedeen Council, said, adding that the registration center is at Jln. Veteran 17, Yogyakarta.

Ba'asyir said Muslims in Indonesia should show their solidarity by joining a jihad for humanitarian activities and to defend Muslim interests in Afghanistan. "The government's ban is against Islamic teaching," he said. He said his council had yet to decide on what actions would be taken against non-Indonesian residents, especially American and British citizens, in the province.

In Makassar, South Sulawesi, the situation remained calm as local Muslim youth organizations and students threatened to stage protests at foreign consular offices in the city. "We are planning a demonstration in front of the Japanese consulate office here on Tuesday," Al Farisy, a Muslim student activist, said.

In Medan, North Sumatra, the Indonesian Student Solidarity (SMI) group criticized the allied retaliation against the Taliban's military installations and terrorist training camps, saying the SMI would hold a massive demonstration in the city on Tuesday. Martius Latuferissa, a spokesman for the group, said he would lead local Muslims to join a holy war against the US

In Purwokerto, Central Java, thousands of Muslims took to the streets to call for a holy war against the United States and its allies. Saefuddin Daldiri, chairman of the Jihad Thoriqotul Front (FTJ), said around 3,000 Muslims from many towns in the province's southern part have registered themselves to join the holy war.

"Responding to the call by the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI), we have indoctrinated their minds with spiritual beliefs as well as the jihad vision and mission in accordance with Islamic teachings," he said. Saefuddin said extremist groups were still considering what actions they would take against American civilians living in the regency.

Deputy chief of Banyumas police Adj. Sr. Comr Raja Gukguk told reporters in Purwokerto on Monday that police have stepped up their security to protect expatriates living in Banyumas. He pointed out that there were 96 non- Indonesians in the region.