I grew up in the shadow of the Indonesian massacres exposed in Joshua Oppenheimer’s extraordinary documentary, “The Act of Killing,” which has been nominated for an Academy Award.
I was a couple of months old in October 1965, when the Indonesian government gave free rein to a mix of Indonesian soldiers and paramilitaries to kill anyone they considered to be a “communist.” Over the next few months into 1966, at least 500,000 people were killed (the total may be as high as one million). The victims included members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (P.K.I.), ethnic Chinese, as well as trade unionists, teachers, civil society activists and leftist artists.… Seguir leyendo »
It is fashionable these days for Western leaders to praise Indonesia as a model Muslim democracy. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has declared, “If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia.” And last month Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, lauded Indonesia for showing that “religion and democracy need not be in conflict.”
Tell that to Asia Lumbantoruan, a Christian elder whose congregation outside Jakarta has recently had two of its partially built churches burned down by Islamist militants. He was stabbed by these extremists while defending a third site from attack in September 2010.… Seguir leyendo »