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Not again!

18 Jul

Flag-Pins-Indonesia-Australia

For reactions see:

1. Tikno in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

As I read through the ANTARA News website, Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (largest Islamic organization in Indonesia) said "Terrorism is not a religion and so it is not correct to say Moslems were the mastermind of the bombings". Yes, I agree with him that this is NOT related to particular religion. This is the responsibility of individual actors who has done these terror. Some people said that applying the death sentence is the best solution for reducing terrorist act. But I think they are not afraid for death. Right?

2. Rob Bainton, now in Australia but a long time resident in Indonesia.

For any how have taken umbrage at some of the content of this post or the point and purpose of travel warnings or the like, irrespective of whether you leave a comment or not, I offer no apologies as it is a blog and these are my opinions and "out loud" thoughts on this issue.

I love Indonesia and her people dearly. The country has been an integral part of my development as a person, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I will always feel I have received more than I have given (although there are probably plenty of Indonesians who might disagree) but I will continue to give until my days end.

The point about terrorism is not what religion the perpetrators follow and I do not talk about Muslim or Christian terrorists, just terrorists, those individuals that would seek to disrupt the peaceful existence that the majority of us try and find in our comparatively short time in this world. The point is that there are those who will go to any length to kill and maim the innocents in pursuit of a cause and despite the in-roads Indonesia has made in getting on top of terrorism and some notable successes this has led to a degree of complacency and the idea of it being "only a matter of time".

I saw it and I was fearful of it in the sense that I truly believed it was only a matter of time.

Those that hate exist in all societies and they will always at some point in time make their presence known. Friday, 17 July 2009, was one of those days in Jakarta.

3. Lateline, ABC Australia. See also updates from ABC.

Update

There’s a very good article by Sally Neighbour in today’s Australian. In it she mentions the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Look for Report #46 on terrorism in Indonesia. See also the reports of the International Crisis Group.

Lest I seem to have been unreasonable today in not allowing Kevin’s “non-pc” comment, I have a pretty good idea where he is coming from on this issue; we have been here before. Kevin is entitled to his opinion, but he has also visited the material linked to my side-bar warning on commenting about Islamic-related issues.

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17 responses to “Not again!

  1. Kevin

    July 18, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Request permission to leave a non-pc comment.

     
  2. Neil

    July 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

    By all means post a non-pc entry on your own blog, but I think your views might detract from those quoted who have the advantage of knowing what they are talking about, from direct experience in one case, and by virtue of Indonesian citizenship in another. So, regretfully, permission denied. Thanks for asking.

    My main reason is that while obviously condemning such attacks as utterly vile, I recognise that in Indonesia the majority of people would agree with me. I am not about to piss such people off by making or endorsing loose statements and generalisations about Islam, which they clearly know far more about than you or I.

    Coincidentally, as ABC News notes tonight, this conference is happening in Melbourne this weekend.

     
  3. tikno

    July 19, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I read your post “Who in God’s name are THEY?”

    Once again… NOT!

     
  4. Neil

    July 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks, Tikno. I think the point is for those of us, whatever our culture or religion, who stand against such random acts of violence to show solidarity with each other. That’s no doubt the majority of people in the world.

     
  5. Kevin

    July 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    “…but I think your views might detract from those quoted who have the advantage of knowing what they are talking about”

    Yes, I disagree with you on this horrid religion, so I must not have direct experience. Touche. God, you sound like an American liberal all of a sudden :(. This is the first time that I can remember you coming out and admitting that you don’t want free speech on your blog. That’s cool… it’s not a public form, and you have the right to make rules governing honest debate.

    But I have to say, your statement puts you in the realm of the leftist ‘progressives’ of America who hate debate of opinions that they cannot defend. Post a comment on my own blog?!? That’s the same thing as saying, “I disagree, and don’t want to hear your response.” A closed mind is a weak mind.

     
  6. Neil

    July 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Why have the same discussion again and again. Isn’t that a sign of a closed mind? I have defended my position over and over again in the past four years, and there is little to add that hasn’t already been said, even in the light of the recent awful events in Indonesia. While I mourn the loss of three Australian lives I also have in mind that by far the greatest number who have been impacted by nihilist terror in the name of Islam are Muslims themselves.

    My position in fact is not all that far from John Howard’s in 2005, so how you can see me as “left” on the issue is a bit of a mystery to me.

     
  7. Kevin

    July 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Last confusion first: You voted for AGW believer Rudd. Therefore, you are left. There’s no point in arguing this. You bought him, hook, line and sinker. Now you have to pay for that mistake. When he comes up with new taxes, you should pay them, because you are the lefty that voted for him. When he handicaps your once great nation with Kyoto-style silly laws against carbon dioxide, you have to accept it – you voted for the cretin.

    The only reason I can think of that you have to defend your position on islam again and again is that your position is wrong. Normally, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but in this case your ‘position’ costs people their lives. I understand that it might be peaceful for you to believe that islam/sharia is no big deal, and that all cultures are relative (as any leftist MUST believe… it’s the law, for lefties), but people die every single day from your belief in cultural relativism, as we saw in this post. Children get RAPED because of your belief in cultural relativism. It’s not ok with me at all, but I’m an American. We may have different values.

    I like the way you try to explain away islamic terrorism as ‘nihilist terror’, but I believe you know the truth. islam IS the terror, and must be destroyed, with as great an urgency as the destruction of the Bushido code. (We fixed that, BTW, with no small help from the Aussies, TYVM)

    And before you say that your muslim neighbor is a pretty nice guy, let me say that my nazi neighbor seems to be fairly friendly to my family. Should I think that Nazism is groovy, like you think it’s counterpart, islam is groovy?

    Sheesh. Get over your love for hippie multi-culturalism and realize that islam/sharia is a very bad thing! You’re a freakin’ teacher, for cryin’ out loud. Can you not see that the subjugation of women or the idea that ‘non-believers must be slain’ is a bad thing? I’ll quote the passages if you want, but I’m confident that you don’t want me to.

    I’m curious – how do you excuse that islamocrap?

     
  8. Neil

    July 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Kevin, do you think this is the first time I have read a rant like that? You have said what I expected you to say.

    I am not going to repeat everything I have said already in 147 posts in this blog alone. There is no argument in your comment that is new to me, and basically you are refusing to recognise that in Islam we are dealing with a 1,500 year old religion to which around one quarter of the world’s population adheres, and that there are many expressions of that religion and many shades of opinion among its practitioners. Its resemblance to a 20th century political aberration like Nazism is in the eye of the beholder, rather than of fact. I repeat, though I found Howard patronising in his tone, he was saying much the same in the article I refer you to as I am saying now, and the right-wing — very right wing — historian Michael Burleigh (Blood & Rage 2008) draws into one fold the nihilists, the Red Brigades and so on, and extremist Islamist jihadists.

    Our job as I keep trying to say is to stand with ALL who oppose terrorism, including our Indonesian neighbours at this time — and we are, and they are standing with and have stood with us in the past. Indeed after a rocky start in the Howard years the Australian-Indonesian cooperation on these matters has been excellent, particularly because of the Bali bombings and the way the Indonesian police and other agencies, including such Islamic groups as the one Tikno referred to, behaved. I haven’t just read that, but have it first-hand from Russell Darnley who was one of the major interpreters and helpers at the bomb site and in the morgues at the time. (A terrible experience, even if he received the Medal of the Order of Australia as a result.)

    Being really offensive to ALL Muslims is one of the worst things you can do if you seriously want these horrors to stop. As I said, they have an even bigger stake than we do, but it has to be thrashed out by them in their own way and in terms of what they value. However, when it comes down to it, just about everyone just wants to get on with their lives without the threat of being blown up by some puritanical misguided mass murderers. Or being blown up by very expensive things flying overhead, I might add. Do you really think you can “wipe out” the religion of a quarter of the world’s population just because you don’t like them? Can you erase such long and often quite glorious traditions that have left us with things like the Taj Mahal and the Alhambra, not to mention algebra (damn them!) — that being an Arabic word — and our current number system?

    My views have nothing to do with hippiedom. Cultural pluralism is a fact of Australian life, and in my teaching I very willingly embraced the multicultural policies of our Department of Education, finding, by the way, that Catholic schools tended to embrace them even more enthusiastically. In my case the policies fit the school I was in — an old and very prestigious Sydney school — where there were students from around fifty different language and cultural backgrounds, but that is pretty much the demographic of Sydney at large. We are very much a migrant country.

    So I am a believer in multiculturalism, though with core values, BECAUSE I was a teacher. My English/ESL site shows that in action, and I am mightily proud of it.

    As for global warming, believe what you like, but again — though its irrelevance to this post is quite alarming — it is not a simple goodies and baddies left and right thing. After all, one of the first politicians to take it seriously was Margaret Thatcher! But then, unlike most politicians, she was actually a scientist.

    Kevin, you have a great personality but have very fixed views. I don’t think I have seen any of them change during all our exchanges, but I also remember (especially now which is the anniversary of Malcolm’s funeral) the other aspects of our internet time.

    The greatest contribution we can make to the ending of terrorism is by not speaking and acting in such a way as to add fuel to the belief the terrorists batten on — that Islam is in fact under attack. Even John Howard came to recognise that, and the War on an Abstract Noun has officially been retired since even before George Bush left office.

    We need to embrace people of all faiths (or none) who share the desire to see this dreadful but demoniacally romantic idea of the terrorist martyr lose its hold on impressionable minds — usually, as ever, young minds. (As a teacher, again, I relate to that challenge and did whatever I could with the young Muslims I used to see daily from 9/11 through to 2005.)

    At the same time I do support the struggle in Afghanistan/Pakistan border areas. That’s a long and hard one. Iraq, sadly, distracted us from that, but we won’t go down that path; the arguments about Iraq are pretty much out there now that we know Saddam had neither actual WMDs nor links with Al Qaeda (who in fact probably would have cheerfully assassinated him.) Of course Al Qaeda and similar groups made a meal of the chaos that ensued, but, though the cost in lives and money has been quite catastrophic — and I do count Iraqi lives — things do show some promise of settling there. So all’s well that… and so on. (I hope.)

    This comment is way long. Do not expect another to match it. (By weird coincidence I see you and Tikno from Kalimantan (Borneo) were on simultaneously while I was watching a Sunday night quiz show on ABC. I am definitely with Tikno on this one. In his post today he says: “In this opportunity I want to say my condolence to all family of the victim. Really, I cannot say anything more except for this sentence: ‘Terrorist, whatever its reason, is more cruel than all devils. Even devil not kills human’.”)

     
  9. Kevin

    July 20, 2009 at 5:25 am

    I’m not sure why you expected a different argument from me than you are used to hearing. The truth is the truth, and there are only a few ways to rephrase it. And you’re on the wrong side of the truth here. I’m glad you’ve heard truth before, but I’m sad that you reject it.

    “Our job as I keep trying to say is to stand with ALL who oppose terrorism”

    Yes, that’s one of our jobs. But the bigger one is to stamp out the root cause of terrorism. And that is islam, as described in the koran and the hadiths. Not Muslims. islam. Sure, non-islamic causes have used terrorism possibly a hundred times in the last 50 years. But terror carried out in the name of islam in the last 5 years alone has topped 10,000 incidents. Wake up. In many ways, it’s not a good religion. It must be stopped, at the very least so that 1/6th of the world’s population can live a normal life and stop worshiping death.

    I don’t understand how you have trouble equating the nazi belief in Aryan supremacy with the islamic belief that non-believers are not human. I’m guessing that you haven’t read the koran. You really should. It’s frightful.

    Neil, you’re right, my views haven’t changed. Nor will they until this violent religion has been utterly destroyed.

    I’m sorry to use cold facts against you, but I’m an engineer, and that’s what we do. We don’t deal in hippie idealism. Just facts and solutions. So without further ado, here’s my solution. Convert at swordpoint every muslim in the world to one of the major religions, including atheism. It doesn’t matter which. None are deadly anymore except islam. Tada! Problem solved. 5/6ths of the world should easily be able to fix 1/6th, right?

    Interesting side story – While algebra was indeed named by a muslim, it was ‘invented’ in 300 BC by some Greek guy and practiced by the Greeks and Romans when designing their buildings. Not well though, since they both used a rather difficult numeric system. It really all came together when Europeans began to use the pre-islamic alphanumeric system created by the Arabs. So thanks for the name, I guess, islam. I LOVE math, so I guess I’m kind of grateful for the name. Too little, too late though.

     
  10. Neil

    July 20, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Well, there is some truth in what you say about mathematics, which doesn’t negate the contribution of Muslim mathematicians.

    Add to your fact-finding a read of What’s right with Islam IS What’s Right with America: it could be in your local library.

    And I think we might leave it there. I will let others decide how practical or even desirable your suggested approach is. I think my view is quite obvious.

     
  11. Kevin

    July 20, 2009 at 8:13 am

    FWIW, I don’t think it’s any more poignant to bring up our discussion of your friend Malcolm than it was for me to bring the non-science of AGW into this discussion. It’s sad to see anyone go, and it’s particularly sad since you enjoyed his company so much. Hopefully, you’re now at the point where you forget the sadness of the loss, and instead are enjoying the memory of the joy that he ever lived at all.

    But it’s utterly beside the point. I’ve re-read your comment, and think we might not be in as much disagreement as my gruff American speakifying makes it seem. You say:

    We need to embrace people of all faiths (or none) who share the desire to see this dreadful but demoniacally romantic idea of the terrorist martyr lose its hold on impressionable minds…

    I AGREE! The only difference is that I am fully aware of a religion that romanticizes this. You seem to be in denial. But I think that deep down, you know too. Why is it so hard to admit it? We can’t solve the problem by tap-dancing around it.

     
  12. Neil

    July 20, 2009 at 8:22 am

    My reason for mentioning Malcolm was for people reading the comment thread to realise there is more to you than the content of your recent comments.

    I otherwise refer you to my suggested reading and would deny I am in denial. As I said we will leave it there.

     
  13. Kevin

    July 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Fair enough. Let’s let it drop. The problem will continue, but there’s very little hope in believing that you and/or I could solve it. Especially on a blog :). For that we need a strong head of state, and our current one is even lamer than yours, if you can believe that.

    Neil, you have a great personality but have very fixed views. I don’t think I have seen any of them change during all [of] our exchanges. But I’m a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy, and will continue to hope that you will shun political correctness and instead embrace truth, despite the horrors that it forces you to acknowledge.

    Hehe, we’re not really far apart in our beliefs. I’m just for action, and you are for… whatever it is that you are for. Appeasement? Teaching them that they’re wrong? Whatever it is, at least you’ve come to see that it’s a big problem that’s probably not caused by the West. I consider that a huge plus. Our liberals would be (slash ARE) blaming America or praising idols of the murderer Che Guevara for the suicide bombings, honor killings, rape, genital mutilation, misogyny, unwarranted rocket attacks against the joooooooos, etc.

    I wish I were Australian. At least then I’d understand the 50% of my compatriots that lean left. Assuming that you are a typical leftist, that is.

     
  14. Kevin

    July 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for trying to humanize me by exposing my empathy for your loss. But I must say that those comments were personal. It was meant for you and you alone, in your time of grieving, despite it being a public blog. Nobody reads these things anyway.

    If my arguments can’t stand on their own, expose them for the hogwash that they are. Treat my beliefs like the swill of the almost Reaganesque John Howard (or is he the male version of Margaret Thatcher? Tough call). I’m a cold-hearted scientific conservative, damnit! Forget that hippie huggie kissy snuggle crap. I’m not that kind of guy.

     
  15. Neil

    July 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Just context, Kevin, important in reading anything.

    As a man into technology I am sure you will have noted this. Enjoy. (I also Twittered it.)

     
  16. tikno

    July 22, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Aha… clean energy. A good news for our grandchild.

     
  17. Kevin

    July 28, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Haha, that’s an awesome use of waste! But I’d hesitate to call it ‘clean’ :).

     

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