With Love from Indonesia to the World

Another Story from the Monas Incident

Sunday, the 1st June of 2008 is just a fine sunny day until about 13.30 pm. I was to be an eye-witness of a bloody event that now has opened many people eyes in Indonesia about how dangerous religious fanaticism is. At that time a horrid violence happened at the “heart” of Jakarta, The National Monument or as it is called “Monas”.

I am a member of NIM (National Integration Movement). On that day, NIM joined AKKBB ( Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan or National Ally for The Freedom of Religion and Faith ), a group consisted of many peoples from several NGOs, to celebrate the birthday of Pancasila, the essence of heritage wisdom and culture of our nation, Indonesia. They planned to have a long march from Monas to Bunderan HI (the large fountain next to the Indonesian Hotel). After had gathered themselves in a while under the pole of Monas, in a distance there came a bunch of men.

We recognize them as the FPI or Front Pembela Islam. It literally means “The Defender Front of Islam” but in fact it is just a group of our ignorant youngster made by the radicals and hardliners of the fanatic religious factions in our society. They have a long bad track record for doing violence and use religion as a mean to justify their act. They do not represent the True Islam that is tender and peace-loving.

Off they went to us, and the situation is getting tenser. The field coordinator of AKKBB ordered us to sit down in hope that the situation would be cooling down and as a sign that we would not do any harm to them. Yet they kept marching on to us, and suddenly beat all of us with bamboo sticks of 3-4 meters long. The situation got into panic and the people of AKKBB scampered in fear. Many of them were women and there were also children. Some of them were stuck in the corner and being beaten repeatedly for several times. Some others got surrounded by 3-5 person and being awfully beaten and brought to the ground. Their heads shed blood in front of their sons and beloved ones.

As if that was not enough, they burned our posters and damaged the truck and sound systems that we were about to use before the incident. “Allahu Akbar…Allahu Akbar…(Great is God)” they cried while doing that without even realizing that they had done something miserable and brought disgrace to the noble face of Islam. Many of AKKBB are Moslem too, yet they are suffering from the injury caused by the FPI. What a shame on them.

Me myself, I got beaten once on the back of my head by a bamboo stick and received a kick on my stomach. It was good for me that I was quite all right so I could help women and children to get escape from the FPI across the fence. Many other friends got more serious and severe head injury as it could be seen in television and recordings.

Now the media and press have uncovered the FPI action on the field. I long for support from everyone caring for the future of a better Indonesia. We shall speak up. Our idleness has let fanaticism grow stronger. We must raise our voice at once.

Love, Peace, and Harmony.

oleh Janfrional Hutabarat

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