“The organisation is now part of the conflict management strategy the Indonesian military exercises to maintain its power.” Yes, in modern, moderate Indonesia! “Indonesia army behind Islamist thugs, lawmaker says,” by Presi Mandari for AFP, June 30:
JAKARTA (AFP) – An Indonesian lawmaker on Wednesday accused the security forces of secretly supporting Islamist vigilantes as a kind of paramilitary force to intimidate opponents and commercial rivals.
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle lawmaker Eva Kusuma Sundari said extremist vigilantes known for violent attacks on bars, minorities and human rights advocates had direct links to military and police generals.
“The organisation is now part of the conflict management strategy the Indonesian military exercises to maintain its power,” she told AFP, referring to the stick-wielding fanatics known as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
“There are several military personnel who still ‘use’ the services of the FPI… I suspect they maintain and protect the FPI because they still have interests with them.”
The FPI, which has thousands of members, is known for threatening, intimidating and physically attacking Indonesians with almost complete impunity despite repeated calls for the government to ban the organisation.
On Sunday it threatened “war” against the Christian minority in the Jakarta suburb of Bekasi and urged all mosques in the city to create armed militias….