I spoke too soon. Yesterday I wrote about the American man who reportedly invaded a mosque in Indonesia and pulled the plug on the loudspeaker because the evening prayers were keeping him awake.
I said it appeared that he had escaped mob violence, which is what anyone who knows Indonesia would expect to see in such circumstances. Well, The Jakarta Globe reports that my fears were justified and the mob arose on cue.
Angry religious people responded to the American’s disrespectful protest by trying to attack him and, when he was protected by police, turning on his house in Kuta beach, Lombok.
Nasruddin, a resident of Kuta village, said he had lost patience after Lloyd’s latest outburst, which he said had been deeply insulting to residents.
Worshippers chased after Lloyd, Nasruddin said, but police intervened and took the American into custody before he was injured. Nasruddin said the villagers decided to ransack Lloyd’s house instead.
They broke windows, destroyed furniture and demolished a wall.
“He should consider himself lucky that we decided not to beat him, because we didn’t want to do anything stupid, but some people were unable to control their anger and decided to damage Lloyd’s house,” he said.
After more than 15 years tolerating Lloyd, who bought land and built a house in the village, Nasruddin said his neighbors could no longer stand him.
“We hope the police will give him the proper punishment for insulting our religion and not just let him walk away because he is a foreigner,” he said.
With neighbours like these, who needs enemies? Some people would say that Lloyd was a repeat offender and deserved what he got, but they’d be wrong.
The mobs that are so quick to rampage in Indonesia are often a consequence of corruption and the absence of the rule of law. If people had faith in the system they would not take matters into their own hands.