Mysterious Obama Envoys Consort With Islamist Extremist – Names, Please!

We’ve all enjoyed the latest rantings of Indonesia’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Suryadharma Ali, his dynamic plan to preserve the nation’s moral fibre by banning women wearing skirts that display their knees.

But as I noted this weekend, our mirth should be circumscribed by the genuine threat that such nonsense could all too easily come to pass.

Indonesians are in general very agreeable folks, and do not share the narrow self-righteous attitudes of this strange man – I mentioned the popularity of the girl band Cherry Belle the other day, who rarely appear without miniskirts, and Sunday arvo on TV we saw another rising musical sensation, Princess, whose picture I happily append.


If nothing else, it’ll brighten your working day!


But the fact remains that Ali still holds a key position in President SBY’s Government, and has been appointed to run the new Task Force Against Pornography, which, to his way of thinking, encompasses those menacing knees that all women possess.

He is of course not just a fanatic Islamist but also out and out sexist, for there’s ne’er a peep of protest out of him about us guys who wear shorts in this wonderful hot climate whenever we get the chance. It’s pretty gals who are the source of sin, clearly.

But scanning the web for my next post material, what should I find but a new claim from Mr. Ali, that Barack Obama has had envoys here, who were most taken with what the Minister refers to somewhat comically – howconditions among religions in Indonesia today are much better than other countries.’




Of course that all depends on one’s perspective.

Indonesian Protestant Church Union (PGI) –  In 2010, the PGI recorded 30 acts of violence and other violations against Christians in Indonesia. This year, the PGI’s Jeirry Sumampow said, there were 54 violations across the archipelago. He said that in many of those cases the government was actively involved, including in the worst and most high-profile one, that of the GKI Yasmin church.

And that’s from a 2011 statement by Indonesians, the brave Setara Institute, which also included this – “Cases of intolerance have intensified this year, numbering more than last year, and at the core of the problem is the poor law enforcement by the government,” Setara deputy chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos told the Jakarta Globe.

And then Cikeusik!

One of the accused, 17-year-old Dani bin Misra, was filmed smashing an Ahmadi man’s skull with a rock. He and the other defendants were convicted of “participation in a violent attack that results in casualties.” Dani was sentenced to three months’ jail. The rest, including two clerics, received five to six months. (By contrast, an Ahmadi got six months for wounding an attacker when defending a family’s property.) Said New York City— based Human Rights Watch: “The trial sends the chilling message that attacks on minorities will be treated lightly by the legal system.”,9171,2099185,00.html#ixzz1qncx6ZlP

Ali of course was not involved in that horrific mayhem. But as the same Time Magazine article reports, Suryadharma Ali ‘defended regulations that ban Ahmadis from proselytizing or openly practicing their faith.’

Indeed he has openly called for total suppression of the inoffensive minority’s constitutional rights.
I quote from the Jakarta Globe, 28/2/11 –
To shouts of “Disband Ahmadiyah” from an audience that included the heads of about 500 Islamic boarding schools and the leaders of at least nine Islamic organizations, the minister seemed to urge religious leaders to take the lead in pushing for the minority Islamic sect to be disbanded.
“We [the government] do not have the right to disband Ahmadiyah,” he said. “That right lies in the hands of you esteemed ulema. We, the government, only have the right to regulate and control, not to disband or excommunicate.”
Suryadharma told the audience in Mataram, Lombok, which included leaders from the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah and Hizbut Tahrir, that MUI branches across the country had declared Ahmadiyah a deviant sect.

On those grounds, he said, any request by religious leaders to have the sect disbanded was reasonable and had his approval.

So the man panders to the most bigoted elements in the country (not dishonestly, for he shares their rabid prejudice) and he has also made known his distaste for those persecuted Christians of West Java, the Protestants of Yasmin Church mentioned by the PGI leader above. Ali thinks they should knuckle under to the Islamist  bigot Mayor of Bogor and give up their Supreme Court-sanctioned right to worship in their own church.

But now he tells us that White House representatives have been to see him!


     “Not long ago I received envoys of President Obama, and also representatives from other countries, to ask about inter-religious harmony in Indonesia. They were also very impressed with the condition of the people of Indonesia. Harmony among the diverse people in Indonesia is the best in the world….”

Who were these envoys of Obama? They need to be named and shamed!

Can ourAmerican readers shed any light on this?

It would certainly come as a surprise to good Indonesians like the Wahid Institute, which after the Cikeusik Pogrom declared that“Violence against Ahmadis is an almost daily occurrence, yet the President does nothing to address this.”‘

And presumably the US Commission on International Religious Freedom would also be amazed, for after Cikeusik it ‘renewed its call on Indonesia to review the blasphemy law saying this is “more deadly evidence that blasphemy laws are the cause of sectarian violence, not the solution.”

Astonishingly, Suryadharma’s revelation on Obama’s mysterious delegates forms part of a story in which he tries to blame ‘provocateurs’ for disturbing religious harmony.

Suryadharma Ali urged the public to beware of provocateurs who fuel conflict in inter-religious life. According to him, provocateurs today are increasingly rampant and deliberately making the country unsafe.

Right, Ali, tell that to the families of the three Cikeusik Martyrs. 

Jakarta Post 30/8/10  “The sect does not believe that Muhammad SAW was the last Prophet, which is against Islam.  If such understanding is considered religious freedom, then I call it excessive freedom,” Suryadharma said.


Wahid and USCIRF quotes from