Suharto Era Comops Backfire in 2012 Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremists continue to portray Ambonese Christians as engaged in separatist rebellion against Indonesia, and a crusade against Muslims. This isn’t true, but raises the question: where on earth did they get this idea? The adage that if a lie gets repeated enough times it becomes true is, apparently, applicable in Indonesia’s Ambon region. It was home to a brief separatist insurgency following the Indonesian revolution (1945-49).  Following their defeat in 1950, […] Read more »

Indonesian Extremists Approve of Anonymous Crusade

by Chris Lundry Indonesian Islamist extremist supporters ar Rahmah posted a story today (2-13) on their website and Facebook page about the hacker group Anonymous’ plans for a cyber-attack on Israel. The story (here) links to the Anonymous YouTube video announcing their plans. While ar Rahmah undoubtedly supports the effort, the article quotes the video as a declaration of a “Crusade” (perang salib) against Israel. The Crusade narrative is the second most frequently invoked among […] Read more »

The Aftermath of Another Affront

by Chris Lundry (with R. Bennett Furlow) It did not take long for the images of the US Marines urinating on corpses of Taliban fighters to go viral. A moment of lapsed judgment will circulate as long as anyone is interested in seeing it, certainly long after short attention spans move on to other things and the fallout – including, presumably, disciplinary actions for the soldiers – settles. Predictably, extremist sites have been all over […] Read more »

Contesting New Media: Indonesia vs. the Muslim World League

By Mark Woodward and Inayah Rohmaniyah* Earlier this month (December 13-15) we were privileged to participate in a “The 2nd International Conference on Islamic Media” sponsored by the Saudi sponsored Muslim World League (MWL, Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) and the Indonesian Ministry of Religion in Jakarta Indonesia.  Tension between the co-sponsors was evident in the selection of participants, the themes of formal presentations and in social interaction over the course of the conference. Differing perspectives on […] Read more »

Obama’s Trip to Indonesia, Australia

by Chris Lundry President Obama has now made his second trip in office to the land where he spent four years of his youth, Indonesia, while on a trip to Asia and Australia. Although Obama’s time in Indonesia was brief, he was welcomed relatively warmly by most Indonesians, who appreciate his ties to the most populous Muslim country. There are, however, plenty of people who disapproved, including the usual suspects, the Islamist extremists. The trip […] Read more »

Another Bombing in Indonesia, Another Struggle over Framing

by Chris Lundry On Sunday, September 25, a lone suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a Protestant Church in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, as services were letting out. Along with the bomber, one congregant was killed and several wounded from the shrapnel composed of nails, bolts and buckshot. In the ensuing week there has been a struggle over how the event should be framed, with most Islamist groups denying responsibility. The bomber has been identified […] Read more »

Extremists Stoking Religious Violence in Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Violence between Muslims and Christians broke out in the city of Ambon, Maluku Province, Indonesia on Sunday, September 11. Official sources state that an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver named Darmis Saiman was killed in an accident on September 10. But rumors sent via text message spread the following day when he was buried claimed that the Muslim driver had been tortured to death by Christians.At last count, seven people have been confirmed […] Read more »

A New Cultural Path for Indonesia’s Islamist PKS?

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has released a new white paper entitled A New Cultural Path for Indonesia’s Islamist PKS? by Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, Inaya Rohmaniyah, and Chris Lundry.  The executive summary is as follows: With the commencement of Indonesia?s transition to democracy, following 32 years of rule by the military dictator Suharto, political space has opened for dozens of political parties to form and regularly contest elections. The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (the […] Read more »

“Firebrand” Extinguished? Abu Bakar Basyir Sentenced to 15 Years

by Chris Lundry The next chapter in the saga of Abu Bakar Basyir, called the spiritual leader of terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah, came to an end on June 16. The court in South Jakarta pronounced its verdict of guilty to the charges of inciting terrorism related to the Jemaah Islamiyah training camp in Aceh — which was broken up amidst arrests and killings of militants in February 2010 — and sentenced the cleric to 15 […] Read more »

Osama bin Laden’s Image Appears on Toast!

By Chris Lundry It was bound to happen: London’s Daily Mail reported yesterday that the face of Osama bin Laden appeared on a Londoner’s piece of toast. I have been fascinated with how the image of Osama bin Laden became a pop cultural phenomenon after 9-11 in some parts of the Muslim world (including Indonesia, where I do much of my work). The image was usually intended to shock rather than express true solidarity with […] Read more »