Java Catholic School Resists Islamist Bullying

When this story was brought to RRA attention, I checked and Googled, putting in Tegal, where it happened, as well as ‘school’ and ‘sekolah’ as well as ‘Catholic’ and ‘Katolik’ but there’s no sign of it as an Indonesian news report. I also put it into the Jakarta Globe and Jakarta Post search engines.

No joy.

It comes from AsiaNews 20th September and is appalling, but no more so than we are getting used to in terms of religious liberty here.

According to the report, last week a local nun, Sister Madeleine, stood up to the local Islamist authoities and spoke against their demands at a meeting of the District Council.

This was the latest chapter in a saga of sectarian pressure from the Tegal (Central Java) Education Department, which wants the Catholics to include Islamic teaching for the handful of Muslim students whose parents send them to St. Pauls the Catholic school.

The report adds that the nuns have been receiving ‘threats and warnings’ if they don’t kow-tow.

In response to critics, Sister Madeleine said that only two Muslim kids attend the St Pius Catholic Kindergarten, nine are in primary school, 12 in junior high and nine in high school, this out of a total school population of around 1,400 pupils, 

The Muslim parents clearly send their children there because the standard of schooling is to their taste. And they too have made their views known, in particular about the usual vagueness as to where the trouble’s coming from.

“Who are these people” who asked the Tegal Education Department to impose Islamic teaching for Muslim students, said Mr Charles Sinaga, a Muslim, who has a son in junior high, especially since the requests that were made remain anonymous or vague. For him, “only parents are morally entitled to make such requests.”

Fair comment. But why, if this all happened last week, is it only reported in AsiaNews? Here’s the link.