Indonesia is markedly more relaxed in its approach to homegrown Islamic supremacist thugs (see also: the church saga in Bogor) than ones with international connections, though they have shown a rather soft touch at times in the latter case as well.
As long as the local groups focusing on harassing Christians and Ahmadis, intervention has just not seemed that urgent. But the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) may have finally overreached in stoning the Home Affairs Ministry.
What the government actually does may be another story. It is just as likely that there will be talks between the FPI and the government that will reach an understanding, and everyone will come out smiling — especially the FPI. “Government Threatens to Freeze Hard-Line Islamic Groups After Ministry Attacked,” by Camelia Pasandaran for the Jakarta Globe, January 12:
The Indonesian government signaled that it may finally act against the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) after a mob stoned the Home Affairs Ministry in a shocking attack in Central Jakarta on Thursday.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi told the Jakarta Globe that the ministry would “evaluate” both the FPI and fringe Islamic People”s Forum (FUI) “” which has been vocal in the campaign against the GKI Yasmin church in Bogor “” on Friday.
He said the evaluation could result in a freeze on the activities of the FUI and FPI, which continues to wage what it claims is a moral crusade, often in direct contravention of Indonesian law.
“We have decided to take two courses of action,” Gamawan told the Globe. “First, we have already asked law enforcement to investigate the case and charge those responsible for the attack. Secondly, we”re going to evaluate the organizations, which might lead to freezing the organization concerning the act of anarchy.”
Few members of the group, often condemned as a group of thugs, ever face charges for their often violent stand-over tactics. The few that have only receive light sentences.