The Indonesian Islamic party supports the decision to reduce the prison sentence of Abu Bakar Bashir, the convicted conspirator in the 2002 Bali bombing that killed over two hundred people. From the AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
Under a presidential decree all well-behaved prisoners are eligible for two annual sentence cuts, one to mark Independence Day and another to mark the main Islamic religious holiday later this year.
“From early on, the trial process against Abu Bakar Bashir has given rise to many doubts,” Prosperous Justice Party secretary general Anis Matta was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying on Saturday.
Suspicions of Mr. Bashir’s involvement in terror strikes prior to the 2002 Bali attacks include a series of bombings directed against Christian churches in 2000 that left eighteen people dead and the 2003 bombing of the Mariott hotel in Jarkata that left fourteen people dead.
The “doubts” of Mr. Bashir’s involvement or at least his support of such atrocities should be of no concern at all considering statements made by the good cleric. This one made in the aftermath of the 2002 Bali attacks stated, “Imam Samudra, Mukhlas, Amrozi and his friends are not terrorists either, they are fighters of the army of God,” and this quote concerning the recent October 1st Bali attacks said, “These saddening incidents, in essence, are warnings, scolding from Allah to us all who are not respecting his sharia.” Declarations such as these are indicative of Mr. Bashir’s position and to question his involvement is being disingenuous at best.
Mr Matta said remission should be granted, if only on humanitarian grounds.
“Bashir is an old vulnerable man and therefore on humanitarian grounds we agree with the Government’s plan to accord him a sentence reduction,” he said.
The humanity of the 202 victims, whose killings were supported by this vulnerable old man, is not mentioned at all.