The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) is at it again, threatening defenceless people and by extension the very idea of progressive civil society in Indonesia. And the Indonesian government is doing nothing to stop them. Who benefits most from having these guys on the loose?
Last week they attacked a training session on civil-rights for transsexuals in Jakarta. The FPI’s leader in the city, Habib Salim, an unelected extremist nobody, is on a self-appointed mission to police social mores. Normally you’d ignore him but there are hundreds of stick-wielding thugs ready to back up his threats.
Why did they burst into the civil-rights workshop, terrorise the 25 participants and shut it down? Habib explains: “(transsexuals) are all sick people and as Muslims we have to bring them to the right path… We needed to dissolve the workshop, as they are like a disease. There is no place for those who intentionally change their gender. They need to be treated.”
The Front’s new target is a film comedy featuring Japanese porn star Maria “Miyabi” Ozawa, which opened Thursday. It’s not clear how much the actress actually appears in “Kidnapping Miyabi” because she was too scared to come to Indonesia, but Habib said the Front would still have to scrutinse the movie for any sign of “aurat”, or parts of the human body which, he has decided, must not be shown. These include “thighs, breasts, and other parts forbidden in Islam”.
Habib told reporters he would watch the cheeky teen comedy with his wife and 17-year-old son…
(Photo courtesy of squid697 via Flickr)