24 December 2006

Tens of Thousands of Police Guarding Indonesian Churches

By Ali Kotarumalos
Associated Press Writer

Sun, Dec. 24 2006 09:44 AM ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Tens of thousands of police deployed at churches across Indonesia Sunday amid warnings by Western nations that Islamic militants may be plotting Christmas bombings.

A member of Indonesian police Bomb Squad search a diorama depicting the birth of Christ for suspicious objects ahead of Christmas eve services at the main cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006. Tens of thousands of police were deployed at churches across Indonesia on Sunday amid warnings by Western nations that Islamic militants may be plotting Christmas bombings.

U.S. Christians: Peace, Hope for Persecuted on Christmas Indonesian officials downplayed the alerts, which have become something of a tradition themselves since Christmas Eve bombings at churches across the country in 2000 killed 19 people.

U.S. embassies in Jakarta and Australia warned the threat of an attack over the holiday season was "serious" and "credible" and that foreigners could be targeted, though it did not say what the alert was based on.

"The Australians and the Americans can say what they want, that is democracy," said Indonesia's police spokesman Col. I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana. "But up until now, we have not seen any frightening signs."

Nevertheless, 18,000 officers have been deployed at churches in the capital, Jakarta and tens of thousands more will be on duty elsewhere in the sprawling nation, he said.

Bomb squad officers planned to search Jakarta's cathedral for bombs and Christmas Eve worshippers at major churches would be frisked before they entered, he said.

The United States and its regional ally, Australia, have long posted generic warnings that terrorists are plotting attacks in Indonesia, but they routinely issue fresh bulletins ahead of the holiday season.

The warnings are not based on intelligence of a specific threat, but rather reflect a general belief that attacks by Muslim extremists are more likely over Christmas.

Since the 2000 bombings, militants from the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah have staged four major attacks. The deadliest was the October 2002 nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists. The last attack was more than 14 months ago.

Indonesian officials do not like the terror warnings, saying they hurt the country's economy by frightening tourists and are unfair given the global nature of terrorism.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. About 10 percent of its 220 million people are Christian.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


07 December 2006

Indonesian Mother of Beheaded Christian Girl Forgives Killers

By The Associated Press

Thu, Dec. 07 2006 05:19 PM ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – The mother of one of three Christian girls beheaded last year on an Indonesian island wracked by religious violence said Wednesday that she has forgiven her daughter's killers.

Haderita Rongkohulu made the comments in testimony to the Central Jakarta District Court where the trial of Hasanuddin, 34, the alleged ringleader of three suspected
Islamic militants accused in the slayings, began last month.

Yarni Sambue, Haderita's daughter, was one of the three girls mutilated as they walked to school in Poso on Oct. 29, 2005. Haderita told the court that she learned of her daughter's death from a television report.

She said the three suspects had offered their apologies when she met them last month at the National Police Headquarters.

“I accepted their apologies. We have to forgive them for the sake of humanity,” Haderita said, adding that she harbors no hard feelings toward them.

Hasanuddin, who goes by one name, has said they killed the girls to avenge the massacre of Muslims in Poso, the scene of religious clashes that left at least 1,000 people dead from 1998 to 2002.

Two other defendants, Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano, will be tried separately.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

04 December 2006

Indonesian Militant Sentenced to 4 Years Over Attack Targeting Church

By The Associated Press

Thu, Dec. 14 2006 05:02 PM ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - An Islamic militant was sentenced to four years in jail on Thursday for storing the explosives used in a botched 2001 bomb attack on a church
in Indonesia.

The blast went off in the lobby of a shopping mall in central Jakarta, wounding several people, but the intended target was a church located on the upper floor of the building, prosecutors have said.

Solahudin, who was identified by a single name, was found guilty of storing the explosives used in the blast and sentenced to four years, Presiding Judge Lies Sofiulah told the Central Jakarta District Court. His lawyers said they were considering appealing the verdict.

Solahudin, 30 was arrested in April during a raid on a suspected hide out of Noordin Top, an alleged Southeast Asian militant accused of organizing a host of attacks on
western targets in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.

A Malaysian militant has already been sentenced to death and two Indonesians have been given life imprisonment for carrying out the attack targeting the church at the mall.

Testimony at their trial said the blast was intended as revenge for the deaths of Muslims in religious fighting in eastern Indonesia.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


16 November 2006

Christian Beheadings Suspect 'Just Wanted Revenge'

abu hasanuddin

By Irwan Firdaus

Associated Press Writer

Thu, Nov. 16 2006 11:11 AM ET

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A suspected Islamic militant told judges Wednesday he took part in the beheadings of three Christian girls on an Indonesian island wracked by
religious violence to avenge the deaths of Muslims, but apologized to their families.

Nov. 8, 2006, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Hasanuddin, believed to be the mastermind, along with two other men are being tried for their alleged involvement in the 2005 beheading of three catholic schoolgirls.

"We are not cold-blooded killers," Hasanuddin, 34, told the Central Jakarta District Court. "We just wanted revenge." Prosecutors allege that he and two other defendants ordered the Oct. 29, 2005, murders of the girls as they walked to school on Sulawesi, the scene of religious clashes that left at least 1,000 people dead from 1998 to 2002.

The men are being charged under Indonesia's tough anti-terrorism laws and face possible death sentences if convicted.

"I was indeed involved in the beheadings," said Hasanuddin, who goes by only one name, adding that he was motivated by anger "because authorities did nothing to avenge the massacres of Muslims."

Prosecutors said Hasanuddin was the ringleader — buying the machetes and plastic bags to put the girls' heads in — and leaving a handwritten note at the scene vowing more killings.

The two other defendants — Lilik Purnomo, 28, and Irwanto Irano, 29 — are being tried separately.State prosecutor Asep Maryono accused the defendants of recruiting four other militants, who are still at large, to carry out the killings.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, with 90 percent of its 220 million people professing the faith, but Central Sulawesi province has a roughly equal number of Muslims and Christians.

Though large-scale clashes ended with the signing of a peace agreement four years ago, sporadic attacks have continued. The beheadings were among the most gruesome.

Hasanuddin told the court he and the two other defendants were especially angry about a 2000 attack on an Islamic boarding school in the coastal town of Poso that left at least 70 people dead.

Three Christian men were executed in September for the slayings, but at his trial Hasanuddin claimed the masterminds of the school attack were still free.

"Male and female students were beheaded and buried in the nearby hills ... many of them raped before being killed," Hasanuddin said. In comparison, he said, the deaths of the Christian girls "were nothing."

He said he hoped the girls' families would accept his apology "for the sake of a peaceful Poso."

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


17 April 2006

Polemik "Playboy” Indonesia

FPI membakar majalah Playboy

TANGGAL 7 April 2006 muncullah jawaban atas pertentangan yang berlangsung sejak Januari 2006, Playboy Indonesia tetap dirilis ke pasar. Penerbitnya memang menepati janji tidak memuat foto-foto perempuan telanjang, tapi tentangan dan unjuk rasa tetap muncul diwarnai ancaman-ancaman. Kemunculan Playboy yang lisensinya dibeli miliaran rupiah ini sepertinya akan terus menjadi polemik.

ANGGOTA Front Pembela Islam membakar majalah "Playboy" Indonesia di depan pintu gerbang Gedung DPRD Jabar Jalan Diponegoro Bandung, Rabu (12/4).* DUDI SUGANDI/"PR"
Tentangan ini cukup berbeda dengan awal kemunculan majalah lisensi luar negeri bermateri gambar yang kurang lebih sama seperti For Him Magazine (FHM), Maxim, dan lainnya. Reaksi yang muncul berbeda pula terhadap tabloid-tabloid kuning yang sudah lebih dulu muncul namun tidak sampai dibakar.

Menurut pakar Ilmu Komunikasi, Deddy Mulyana, permasalahan yang menyeruak dengan hadirnya Playboy adalah citra atau simbolik yang sudah terbentuk atau terkonstruksi. Nama Playboy menjadi permasalahan karena pikiran orang langsung tertuju pada citra majalah Playboy di negara asalnya, Amerika Serikat.

Hal inilah yang memunculkan reaksi berbagai kalangan. Alasannya, kata Deddy, manusia sering bersikap pragmatis dan berdasarkan pengetahuan awam atau rata-rata. Sikap yang muncul semakin berlebihan bila didasari atas stereotip atau generalisasi yang juga berlebihan. "Sesuatu yang belum merupakan kenyataan seperti dugaan, stereotip, atau imajinasi saja bisa menjad problem. Nah, apalagi kalau stereotip sudah menjadi fakta," katanya.

Menurut staf pengajar Pasca Sarjana Ilmu Komunikasi Universitas Padjadjaran Bandung ini, fakta umum tentang Playboy adalah selalu memuat foto perempuan telanjang. Playboy Indonesia edisi perdana memang tidak memuat foto-foto telanjang. Namun, tetap menampilkan foto-foto sensual yang menunjukkan Playboy gagal beradaptasi dengan budaya Indonesia seperti yang dijanjikan.

"Kalau ingin menyesuaikan diri, namanya pun kenapa Playboy? Jadi, mereka pasti dengan perhitungan. Kalau namanya bukan Playboy tidak akan laku," ucapnya.

Ia mengatakan, Playboy merupakan daya tarik yang diasumsikan akan mendorong khalayak untuk membeli. Kehebatan nama itu terbukti karena tetap banyak yang sekadar mencari sampai membeli majalah meskipun aksi sweeping dilakukan pihak yang tidak setuju.

Pakar Ilmu Komunikasi, Dedy Jamaludin Malik, sepakat dengan hal ini. Dedy yang juga anggota Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat RI ini menganggap persoalan brand menjadi penyebab utama munculnya tentangan keras itu. "Ini merupakan citra global," katanya.


Bagi Dedy Jamaludin, untuk mengaitkan kebebasan pers yang dilindungi Undang-Undang Pokok Pers Nomor 40/1999 dengan Playboy harus melalui penelitian di Dewan Pers. Isinya harus dibuktikan apakah memenuhi kaidah jurnalisme yang kode etiknya sudah disepakati. Bila tidak, maka tidak ada UU yang bisa meyakinkan bahwa Playboy merupakan suatu bentuk kebebasan berekspresi.

Menurut Deddy Mulyana, media massa memiliki tugas memberdayakan masyarakat. "Tidak ada sebuah media massa yang hampa nilai. Kalau media mengklaim memiliki kebebasan, kebebasannya adalah untuk tujuan itu," tuturnya.

Ia menegaskan, kebebasan media massa mirip dengan kebebasan individu yang bukan merupakan kebebasan tanpa embel-embel. Tidak ada kebebasan dalam pengertian mutlak. Bahkan, sangat sedikit dasar, alasan, atau bukti-bukti ilmiah yang mendukung dan menyatakan bahwa isi Playboy memperlihatkan kebebasan yang bertanggung jawab untuk masyarakat.

Secara psikologis, kemunculan Playboy pun bisa memunculkan dampak eskapisme yang membuat orang lari dari tanggung jawab kesehariannya. Bila dikonsumsi anak-anak, gambar-gambar itu akan dikonstruksi menjadi sesuatu yang taken for granted reality, atau sebuah realitas yang tidak pernah dipersoalkan lagi, menjadi suatu normalitas. "Kesadaran manusia memang bisa dibuat seperti itu, bisa dikonstruksikan dan, media massa punya peranan yang besar," ucapnya.

Dedy Jamaludin menyayangkan penegakan hukum bersifat adhoc; sekali-sekali atau kadang-kadang tergantung desakan masyarakat. Padahal, KUHP memiliki pasal yang menyangkut kesusilaan untuk menjaring semua media itu dan kemudian membuktikannya apakah ada unsur pelanggarannya.

Namun, bila unsur jurnalisme pada Playboy diakui sehingga kebebasannya bisa dlindungi UU Pokok Pers, maka aturan pendistribusian yang diterapkan di luar negeri bisa dicontoh. Deddy Mulyana mengatakan itu sebagai jalan minimal. "Ya, jangan dijajakan, diatur penjualannya. Kalau di TV, kan, ditayangkan pukul 11 malam," ujarnya.

Ketegasan pengaturan inilah yang dibutuhkan. Pembatasan penjualan sesuai segmen yang ditujukan untuk pembaca dewasa harus dijalankan berdasarkan aturan. Harus ada tindakan tegas terhadap semua pelanggaran. Tujuannya supaya orang tua pun tidak terampas kebebasannya untuk mendidik anak sesuai nilai yang ingi mereka tanamkan. (Vebertina Manihuruk/"PR")***

Pikiran Rakyat - 17 April 2006