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Category Archives: Indonesia

Support appeals for natural disaster relief

The region to our north and north-west continues to be hit by earthquakes and typhoons. Take time out to help. Most readers will know what organisations to contact to make donations. Some are listed in this article. The Uniting Church offers a direct donation facility here.

 
 

Sunday is music day 23: Indonesia

Enjoy.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on August 16, 2009 in Asian, Indonesia, South-East Asia, Sunday music

 

Last night on ABC and this morning’s news…

… had a mix of the bizarre and the tragic. You wouldn’t read about it, would you? Hollywood couldn’t invent stuff like this.

Let’s begin with the tragic.

Terror in Mumbai (originally on UK Channel Four) was last night’s offering from Four Corners.

…Their first target was the Leopold Cafe where they killed 11 people. From there they planted bombs inside taxis as the moved across the city. Terror in Mumbai follows the young men every step of the way using telephone calls made between the raid’s masterminds in Pakistan and the gunmen in Mumbai. Those calls combine with the testimony of the captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab, to create an extra-ordinary chronology of the attacks.

The calls reveal how the young men are continually reminded they must kill as many people as possible, making sure that whatever happens they must not be taken alive.

Ajmal Kasab, speaking from his hospital bed tells how he and another man attacked the city’s train station slaughtering more than 50 people…

As the film progresses the relationship between the attackers and their controllers at the other end of the phone comes into clearer focus.

At times the young men appear utterly ruthless, at other times they break away from their conditioning and register their wonder at the hotel they have taken over. They talk of computers and expensive furniture as if in a wonderland.

As the film progresses the terrorists are told to kill as many people as they can in the Taj Hotel, and then to start a fire. The purpose? To let the world know a symbol of India and the decadent west is being destroyed.

As the phone calls continue it becomes clear the young men are not always willing to kill on command. In one chilling episode one gunman is told to kill a hostage. He stalls for time. Then an hour later he is ordered to shoot. A gunshot is heard…

It was riveting and incredibly sad. The Svengali on the other end of the phone gives new manifestation to the concept of pure evil. The psychology of the perpetrators, one of whom was “sold” — according to the program and his own testimony – to Lashkar e Toiba by his own father so that his siblings could afford to marry, reminded me so much of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent. The father was a poor street yoghurt seller.

… The 10 gunmen had sneaked ashore in Mumbai around 9pm on 26 November, having sailed from Pakistan in a hijacked Indian trawler.

Less than an hour later, during a killing spree across the city which included the main railway station, four gunmen entered the luxury Taj Hotel. Young Pakistanis from villages in the Punjab, who had never set foot in a modern hotel before, let alone the vast suites on the upper floors of the Taj, they could not contain their amazement. The first few hours of intercepts at the Taj show them struggling to keep their minds on the task of burning down the hotel.

‘There are so many lights… and so many buttons. And lots of computers with 22 and 30-inch screens…’ says one.

The other chilling piece of evidence we obtained during the making of this film, was told by one of the gunmen, Kasab, who was taken alive by Indian police and his questioning recorded.

‘What’s your gang called? Your team?’ asks one policeman.

Kasab seems not to understand.

‘Your organization, your gang, your team?’, some of the other officers round the hospital bed chime in.

‘Oh… It’s Lashkar e Toiba.’ …

It is as well – again – to remind ourselves that it is not all of Islam we are looking at here, but a perversion. Jim Belshaw has also taken up that theme: For Tikno – selection, perception, bias and the MUI Fatwa. The comments from Tikno in Indonesia and Ramana in India enhance Jim’s wisdom on this. You may also listen to this: “Young Indonesians have made use of social networking sites to protest against terrorism.” The India-Pakistan situation has complicating strands of history involved – the mess of the Partition and the unsolved dilemma of Kashmir. (I studied Indian History at university and have ever since taken an interest.) Further, in relation to Ramana’s comment, there is no single body that can speak for Islam. To a degree everyone is his or her own mufti, and the result is amazing diversity. This can be good, but also complicates things terribly. The media do focus on the violent extremists, though Tikno’s point about the majority being against violent extremism is almost certainly a truer picture.

Now for the bizarre.

Malcolm Turnbull. Well, he is human, as that Australian Story episode shows, but a bit of a goose too. The show was filmed behind the scenes as the Utegate Imbroglio was occurring, and today all that became more bizarre still: I wrote fake email: Grech.

And then there is that sleazy Radio 2DayFM The Kyle and Jackie O Show. So glad I never listened to them, especially after Media Watch revealed how bottom of the barrel the show has really been.

More 10 to 17 year-olds, by far, listen to 2DayFM than to any other Sydney station.

Yet up to now ACMA has done nothing about Kyle and Jackie’s obsession with boobs and willies, their parade of vaginas and penises, their discussions of anal sex, and oral sex, and faeces-eating during sex, and other such breakfast-time delights.

And then there’s the program’s routine humiliation and emotional manipulation of its ‘guests’.

Tonight, while Austereo reviews its ‘principles and protocols’, we’re going to look at a particularly sickening example. It wasn’t about sex, or juveniles.

It was about heartless exploitation…

About as funny as a pile of dead rats.

 

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Sunday lunch had music too!

Remember I first mentioned The Batik Courtyard Cafe in April? Sirdan and I have been back several times and the food really is excellent – mainly Indonesian and Malaysian, but with other items too. One couple near us were having bacon, eggs and sausages! We went down the Indonesian track with something like this but with the addition of a VERY hot pickle garnish on the side that appeared to have dried fish bits in it. Great meal though, and a multicoloured ice desert with lychees and so on after.

BatikCourtyardCafe

The great thing though was the music: cool jazz played by a group that was mostly Indonesian, but with an Anglo lead guitarist and one Anglo singer – didn’t catch his name, but he was so good! Performs also at The Basement, a well-known Sydney jazz venue.

An amazing cross-cultural experience really. 🙂

 

More on Indonesian terrorist bombing

See also Not again!

1. From Tikno in Kalimantan: Fatwa against terrorist

Dear readers, I create this post because I heard many terrorism issues that tend to be associated with Islam as religion. But through this post I want to say that it is NOT TRUE. If you say that it is personal responsibility, then I’ll say yes. I know some of you may be asking within the heart "Why you say that?"

Well, here is my explanation:

1) I’m strongly believe that there are still a lot of good Muslim, even far more than you imagine. I live in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, and I have many Muslim friends here. They (my Muslim friends) are also condemns terrorism action…

2. From Rob Bainton in Sydney: Noordin M Top claims recent Jakarta bombings

Rob was a long-term Indonesian resident until just a few months ago.

… The sooner anti-terrorism forces catch this man the better. Otherwise, Indonesians can be assured of one thing; he will continue to build bombs designed to kill as many people as he can for as long as he can. He, and his group, might be targeting foreigners, but history shows he is not adverse to killing Indonesians as acceptable collateral damage in the pursuit of his goals.

Violence is not the answer. It will never resolve our differences and it will never allow us to move forward to a place where we all live in peace and harmony with one another. People of all faiths must denounce violence as a legitimate means to an end; violence is not legitimate and it never ends.

What distinguishes these two posts from anything I might say is that they are based on deep experience of the context and people concerned. What distinguishes the hope and counsel they offer from the usual punditry or over-generalisation is that same authority and authenticity.

 

Miscellaneous notes

It was a toss-up whether to note these here or on Twitter. Not that any of them are trivial, but you can’t do a major post on everything, can you?

1. from The Jakarta Post

Leaders of various religious groups as well as anti-violence activists held two separate mass prayers on Monday at the site of the Jakarta hotel bombings, which killed nine people and injured more than 50 on Friday.

Members of the Indonesian Anti-Violence Community, including lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, Yenni Wahid, Wimar Witoelar and Ayu Utami, came to the site of the bombings to pray for the victims.

Soon after, religious leaders led another mass prayer at the site.

They included Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic council, Rev. Petrus from the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), representative of the Hindu community Anak Agung Ngurah Ugrasena and Maha Biksu Dutavira, who came to represent Buddhist.

"Although the situation is overwhelming, people must remain alert but not panic," Rev. Petrus said, as quoted by state news agency Antara.

Suicide bombers attacked the JW Marriot and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Mega Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday.

2. from The Sydney Morning Herald: The usual terrorism suspects moved from JI to the Noordin network.

In the aftermath of last Friday’s terrorist bombings in Jakarta, numerous commentators have identified Jemaah Islamiah as the organisation most likely to have committed the attacks. One senior security analyst, for example, told ABC radio that the attacks showed that "JI was back in business".

Other terrorism researchers such as Sidney Jones have argued that the jihadist group led by Noordin Mohammed Top should head the list of suspects.

Of course, there is much that is unclear about the details of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings, and firmer analysis needs to await further information about the identity of those involved and the methods used. But I would like to set out reasons why we should differentiate between JI and the Noordin group, and why it is more plausible to regard Noordin’s group as the prime suspect rather than JI.

JI is not a monolithic organisation. Since the late 1990s it has experienced divisions over how it should conduct jihad. For militants within JI, such as Noordin, Hambali and Mukhlas, the fatwas of Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s declaring it an obligation for Muslims to attack the US and its allies resounded like a clarion call. They were impatient for South-East Asian Muslims to strike a blow against what they saw as Islam’s greatest foes. For more moderate elements of JI, bin Laden’s appeals and the subsequent activities of al-Qaeda were either of little relevance for Indonesia or ran contrary to established Islamic law on jihad…

Such specific details are clearly important to any informed response to events such as these. They tend to get lost when we make blanket generalisations about “Muslims”.

3. SMH again: Karl Konrad – Say hello to our new economic slaves: foreign students.

Karl Konrad “is a migration agent. He was formerly a police officer and whistleblower.”

… Nearly 15 years ago, as a young police constable, I wrote a long report on police corruption to the Victorian ombudsman, Barry Perry. That report sparked one of the biggest investigations into police corruption ever seen in this country. I went to the ombudsman because I couldn’t trust the police or the government of the day. They both had something to lose if the truth came out. Never underestimate the power of a good ombudsman.

Students also need an ombudsman independent of state and federal governments. Proper investigations can get to the bottom of mistreatment or, at worst, outright corruption. Students must be assured the Immigration Department will take no action to deport them. Instead, if necessary, they should be placed out of harm’s way into an alternative reputable education provider at no cost to themselves where they can continue pursuing their dreams.

No one is saying all foreign students have negative experiences here. But now the cat is out let’s keep it out and shake this system free of corruption.

4. SMH: Gerard Henderson smells left-wing bias.

He has the nose for it. 😉

If you want to work out who won what was billed as "the culture wars" during the time of the Howard government, tune into SBS One at 8.30 pm tonight. This is the first episode of the three-part series titled Liberal Rule: The Politics that Changed Australia, which is produced by Nick Torrens Film Productions and written by Nick Torrens and Garry Sturgess.

Liberal Rule is a shocker and a disgrace. Torrens obtained interviews with key figures in the former government – including John Howard, Peter Costello, Alexander Downer and Peter Reith along with some former Liberal Party staffers. They were all identified according to their relationship to Howard or the government he led.

Sturgess had been the senior researcher on the successful ABC TV documentary Labor in Power series, which aired in 1993. It is likely that those supportive of the Howard government who were interviewed for Liberal Rule anticipated a similar style of documentary. In Labor in Power, the key figures in the governments led by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were allowed to state their case and viewers were allowed to draw their own conclusions.

Not so in Liberal Rule. Torrens put it in a directors’ statement which accompanies the SBS publicity: "Being aware that interviews with our `cast’ of John Howard and his senior cabinet figures would elicit recollections with an eye to history’s favourable view, the crucial decision was how to present a balanced picture . . . Garry and I sought an atmosphere of co-operative engagement. To this we would add the necessary layers of subtext."

You can say that again…

I think SBS viewers are probably bright enough to distinguish fact from opinion. Anyway, do we really want hagiography?

5. Cricket

Did something happen? 😉

 

Not again!

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.

 

Welcoming Russell Darnley OAM

My former colleague at SBHS Russell Darnley has entered the blogosphere. I mentioned Russell a while ago in Islam has about 1.3 billion followers worldwide. He was in Bali at the time of the bombing and wrote about it; the full text is in that post.

“I want to write about the overwhelming manifestation of selfless human love and care I have experienced.”

It’s obvious that the tragedy in Bali has brought great grief to the lives of many Australian families. For those of us that have been intimately involved in the tasks of ministering to the needs of the injured, attempting a body count and counselling the grieved friends and families of the missing it has been a demanding task.

This has been a task made more bearable by the massive upsurge of goodwill and the magnificent cooperation that has emerged in the face of this tragedy.

There has been little time to reflect on the intentions of the perpetrators. Our energy has been elsewhere. With the evacuations complete and the forensic process now underway there is time to write.

My first task was to survey a network of private hospitals surrounding the Sanglah public hospital for walking wounded. There were none. What first confronted me was the youth of the patients. Sure there were people of my own age but many were Rugby and AFL players from Australia. As a Rugby coach I found an immediate affinity with lots of the young guys that were lying, not always gravely injured, but bewildered about the whereabouts of missing teammates. I could only ask them to have hope and if the inclination took them, to pray for their friends…

Many thousands of people have assisted in the relief effort. Their care of the sick and dying and the respect they have shown for the dead have filled me with great hope.

The overwhelming majority of Indonesia’s 230 million people I am sure are deeply appalled by the wanton violence. Bali in particular is now confronting the prospect of a significant economic downturn if tourism is no longer seen as safe and viable.

I can only conclude with the words of the Denpasar (Badung) Fire Brigade Crew that I happened to talk with yesterday as a walked back to Sanglah Hospital from the Garuda office.

“Tell the Australians that Bali is safe. We can guarantee this. We will protect them. Tell them that we want them to come.”

Now he is out there for you all to read. I commend his blog to you.

russell 

Speaking of blogging friends, thanks Jim Belshaw for your kind words today.

 

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Something good that began under the Howard government…

Never thought you’d see me say that, eh! But it must be the case*, and it is ongoing, which is even better. I hadn’t known about it until I saw The 7.30 Report last night: Australian Govt gives Indonesian schools funding boost.

KERRY O’BRIEN, PRESENTER: The three Bali bombers executed last month had one thing in common: growing up, they all attended jihad preaching boarding schools. There are many security experts who believe these schools present a real danger to Indonesia and Australia. The question is: what can be done to promote education in Indonesia without funding extremists? As it happens, the Australian Government has quietly been investing millions of dollars in schools across Indonesia, training teachers and buying schoolbooks. It’s one of the most ambitious aid programs of its type anywhere in the world, and as the ABC’s Indonesian correspondent Geoff Thompson reports, it could pay a remarkable dividend.
BRIAN SPICER, AUSAID: Not only, perhaps, the biggest program that Australia is operating in education anywhere, but it’s also one of the biggest education programs anywhere in the world.
ROBIN BUSH, THE ASIA FOUNDATION: For the Australian Government to be providing low cost schools, good schools that follow the national curriculum in these communities is an incredible contribution because it does provide options.
GEOFF THOMPSON, REPORTER: Over the last few years, a quiet revolution has been unfolding within Indonesia’s education system and Australia has been leading the charge. This country of almost 240 million people has some gaping holes in the education prospects of its children. Almost 40 per cent of Indonesia’s kids never make it past primary school simply because there aren’t enough secondary schools spread across the sprawling archipelago…

GEOFF THOMPSON: The 1,000th school was opened in August in Sulawesi. Australian aid goes only to schools which teach the national curriculum, whether they are government schools or Islamic madrasas run by Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs.
SIDNEY JONES, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: About 20 per cent or 25 per cent of children get educated in Islamic schools here. And if you completely ignore that, you’re ignore a critical part of the education system. And it’s a lousy educational system. It’s something that’s in dire need of improvement.
GEOFF THOMPSON: Australia’s decision to fund madrasas did raise a few eyebrows when first announced because of fears they would be like the single sex Koranic rote learning centres seen in countries like Pakistan.
ROBIN BUSH: And in fact it’s interesting in Indonesia, it’s very different from other countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh where the madrasa is the institution for Islamic learning and primarily teaches religious subjects. In Indonesia, it’s the pasantran that are primarily teaching religious subjects. But within the pasantran, there’s usually a madrasa. And it’s the madrasa that teaches the secular subjects. So, it’s sort of counter-intuitive. It’s a bit different than the way it is in some other Muslim countries…

Excellent!

* I subsequently checked, and this particular program does indeed date from 2006. See About AusAID in Indonesia. See also the AusAID general site for other projects and information. Wikipedia gives some background back to Whitlam. There have been criticisms:

AusAID’s most vocal critic is the left-wing NGO Aid/Watch. Aid/Watch argue that "The flow of aid can be constructive particularly in programs of emergency relief and health. However, development projects can have detrimental effects on local communities when the donor country imposes decisions without the appropriate assessment of social, cultural and environmental needs.". Specific criticisms of AusAID include allegations that it services Australian commercial interests through its procurement policies; promotes particular economic and trade policies that Aid/Watch regards as detrimental to the poor; lacks transparency; and has seen aid been misused to support foreign policy, such as promotion of the so-called Pacific Solution for processing people seeking asylum in Australia.

Aid/Watch critiques of AusAID’s procurement policy have not been updated to reflect the untying of most aid procurement from April 2006.

AusAID has also been criticised from the right-wing, particularly the Centre for Independent Studies. Helen Hughes of the CIS has argued that "aid has failed PNG and the Pacific" – a criticism of the broad policy and approach of aid rather than the specific administration of AusAID.

The emphasis there is mine. Check Aid/Watch for yourself.

Am I just being elderly and having a senior moment, or am I right in thinking little was made of AusAID in the 2007 election? There was an Australian Wheat Board scandal connection, was there not?

And before I get too nice about John Howard, note this, also from Wikipedia:

It has also seen repeated cuts to aid contributions during its lifetime, as the level of 0.47% of gross domestic product during the Whitlam years was slashed to 0.33% under the Hawke and Keating governments, and has at times been even lower under the Howard government. Cuts have not been limited to aid levels either; in mid-1996, the Howard government slashed the agency’s running costs budget by 24% amidst a round of cost-cutting measures.

In 2005 John Howard committed Australia to double Australian aid to about $4 billion a year by 2010. At the time of the 2007-08 budget, the Government announced total aid of $3.2 billion and an expectation "to continue increasing development assistance, to $3.5 billion in 2008-09, $3.8 billion in 2009-10 and $4.3 billion in 2010-11."

I am of course still extremely impressed with last night’s 7.30 Report story.

But we have not had the best of records comparatively in the amount we devote to foreign aid. There was a famous confrontation over that between Rev Tim Costello of World Vision and his then Treasurer brother, Peter Costello, in 2006: Costello brothers argue over Australia’s aid record.

niar Jim Belshaw has posted on this latest news of Australia-Indonesia relations, as he has on matters Indonesian quite often: Encouraging Indonesia-Australia involvement. Jim has attracted an Indonesian readership too in recent times. I have noticed when I have occasionally checked his Sitemeter that between 5 and 10% of his visits often come from there. One 18-year-old Indonesian, Niar, commented on Jim’s latest post: “I have a planning to join Australian scholarship for 2009. the sort of scholarship that I take is ADS (Australian Development Scholarship). It is provide as much as 300 scholarship for public servant, NGO worker, or post graduate student.”

Check her blog: the most recent post is Human Rights for All. That’s her on the right.

 

Quote of the week

Put this up in gold, or write it on your heart.

Claire Hatton, whose husband, Christian Redman, was killed in the 2002 attacks, first heard about the execution of his killers at the Coogee memorial yesterday. "I saw a quote by Mahatma Gandhi and it said: ‘The trouble with an eye for an eye is that it makes us all blind’. That’s what I think."

— from the Sydney Morning Herald reporting the execution of three of the Bali bombers.

 

Meanwhile in Indonesia…

The papers here have been keeping an eye on the imminent executions of the mad bombers. If ever any people deserved execution it is that lot, assuming that is that capital punishment is a good idea, as they also believe in China and Texas, and many other places. I don’t think capital punishment is a good idea. I think I would rather see the deluded murderous fanatics who think it’s OK to kill people because you disagree with them or don’t like their swimming costumes serving out their days working in a morgue or cleaning up minefields somewhere; I certainly don’t think that granting them the martyrdom they allegedly crave does much good at all.

And anyone reading in Indonesia: I am sure most of you don’t believe for a moment that amazing twaddle about the Bali bombing being a CIA operation, or the Australian government paying for the execution. That belongs in the same place as the moon being made of green cheese, or my television set being populated by little men who are conspiring against me. In other words, like so much else some people say, it is totally and utterly barking insane. The world is bad enough without spreading or believing crap like that.

And just as bad are our own Islamophobes who think something like one third of the population of the globe share the madness of the bombers, and are out to get us. That too is insane. Utterly insane. Read on that link what a colleague who was in Bali at the time of the bombings has to say.

So let’s focus on the many sane Indonesians, for example these people, or this Indonesian blog which came my way via Jim Belshaw a little while ago. Now even though Love Ely is protected by Copyscape, I am sure he won’t mind a quote and a stolen picture…

Refugee On November 10th, 2008, thousands of bloggers will write about the various challenges faced by the 11 million people who have no country to call home and the 40 million more who have been displaced because of war, conflict and natural disasters. It’s hoped the world of blogosphere will unite to raise their voices on behalf of millions voiceless refugees. To ask the world to face the atrocities to humanity. To increase the awareness of human rights. Participating is easy and for more information please visit Bloggers Unite. There, you will find various badges and even source material for write a post.

I am going to join in with that. Why don’t you?

Sunday 9 November update

The executions have now occurred. I have nothing to add. But read a very thoughtful essay by Yawning Bread (Au Waipang) in Singapore: “Bali bombers and the death penalty”.

 

Meet two neighbourhood blogs

The first came my way as I was searching for information while posting this on Ninglun on Blogspot; Rob Baiton in Indonesia found that entry last night and left a comment there, while also being inspired by “Don’t say you weren’t warned” to post an entry of his own.

Generally, I try and be understanding of all, even the far Christian right, but this supposed Church is so far right that I do not think they are in cooee distance. Besides, I just do not see that rational argument is an option here. Look, how do you argue a rational point of view with a Church whose website address is www.godhatesfags.com? After all, these are the same religious zealots (I must admit other words came to mind other than zealot) that protest at the funerals of returned service men and women in the US.

Apparently, God is killing America’s young men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq as punishment for moving away from the pure teachings of God. It appears that in particular God sends down his wrath against anyone or any country that tolerates homosexuality.The above just goes to show that there is no one religion that has a monopoly on fundamentalist teachings and interpretations. Even ones that seem to cross the line to vilification and hate speech in some pundits’ books!

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Posted by on February 27, 2008 in blogging, Christianity, current affairs, faith and philosophy, Indonesia, Islam

 

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Further to H in Indonesia

The person who turns out not to be the mystery spammer from Indonesia contributed this to my post on OzPolitics on the Bali Conference:

A compilation applauds UN Global Warming and Climate Change Conference 13th by UNFCCC at Bali, Indonesia 3-14 December 2007 (UNFCCC COP 13 – CMP 3, MOP/COP 3 events).

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Posted by on December 27, 2007 in blogging, climate change, environment, faith and philosophy, Indonesia

 

Great new widget and (perhaps) a letter from the mystery spammer…

amung_us

If you click that you will find a great real time tool for seeing who is reading what where. I have put the widget — it’s easy and works in a WordPress text widget — on all the WP blogs. The most recent visitors kind of flash at you, and the earlier visitors accumulate as you see on that map. It updates itself whenever someone new comes aboard. Great supplement to Sitemeter.

Remember the odd spam some of us got recently which I noted came from Indonesia? Thomas got it too, and so did a lot of people on WP according to the forum there. Could it be the person who sent me this email?

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Posted by on December 26, 2007 in blogging, climate change, environment, Indonesia, site news