The very idea of jihad to impose Sharia is ultimately the Achilles heel of Islamic governance. Since Sharia is a total system of government for every aspect of life, there can always be more to enforce. Someone will always want more of it, or want to do things differently, and someone will always be willing to kill and topple governments to see Sharia done “right” under the ruler who is really, really the legitimate leader. Therein lies a fundamental source of instability, and has been on display ever since the battle commenced over the successor to Muhammad after his death.
This incident is also an unintended, but predictable consequence of Indonesia’s generally turning a blind eye to domestic Islamic supremacist groups as long as they restrict their harassment to non-Muslims. Not only will those groups eventually turn on the government that has allowed them to thrive, but they will turn on each other.
“Islamic Groups Clash in Yogyakarta,” from Antara, February 29 (thanks to Twostellas):
Clashes erupted between militant Islamic groups in Yogyakarta on Tuesday when Bambang Teddy, the head of the city”s branch of the Islamic Defenders Front, was brought to court on assault and defamation charges.
Giggling at his name might get you a fatwa.
Bambang was reported to the police by a member of another militant group, Erna Efriyanti, who belongs to the Islamic Jihad Front (FJI).
She told the police that during a run-in at a shopping mall in the city, Bambang had spit at her and threatened and verbally abused her.
Erna said the incident occurred after she asked Bambang’s wife, Sebrat Haryanti, to repay some money she owed Erna.
FJI members accompanied Erna to court, arriving shortly before the trial began.
When Bambang and some fellow Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) followers arrived, several FJI members shouted that Bambang only dared to fight a woman.
FPI members then began pelting the FJI camp with rocks, setting off an all-out brawl.
Hundreds of police officers deployed at the courthouse for the trial separated the two sides before the hearing started.
Erna testified that Bambang’s wife owed her Rp 56 million ($6,200). “I asked her to pay her debt but she told me to ask the government,” she said.
On Nov. 17, Bambang allegedly confronted Erna at a mall, where he scolded her before punching and spitting on her.
Erna spent the night in the hospital after the incident.
Tuesday”s hearing only lasted 30 minutes before the trial was adjourned until next week.
Clashes erupted again when FPI members threw stones at FJI followers as Bambang walked out of the courtroom.
“We urge both sides to control themselves,” Yogyakarta city police chief Sr. Comr. Mustaqim said. “We will make sure that there won’t be anymore fights at the next court session.”
Bambang is notorious for his use of violence. He was accused last year of leading an attack on members of the Ahmadiyah Islamic sect in the province.
At the time he said Yogyakarta’s governor, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, was running out of time to issue a decree banning Ahmadiyah in the province.