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INDONESIAN MUSLIMS CALL FOR HOLY WAR AGAINST CHRISTIANS
JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - Indonesian Muslims rallied in Jakarta today, demanding a holy war against Christians in the strife-ridden Maluku province, also known as the Spice Islands, where more than 500 people have been killed in sectarian violence in recent weeks.
While government reports say about 1,000 people have been killed in fighting between minority Christians and majority Muslims in the past year in Maluku, a human rights groups said today more than 4,000 people had died on one island in the area just since August. Fighting between gangs representing the two religions have been fighting as tensions rise from the country's worst economic crisis in decades and political turmoil. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim majority country, although Christians are a sizeable minority in Maluku.
About 5,000 protesters marched from a mosque in Jakarta today to the University of Indonesia campus, shouting "Jihad! Jihad!" (holy war). The protesters demanded the resignation of Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who has been assigned to stop the violence but who they said has done little. Before marching, the protesters gathered outside the mosque and killed a goat, then smeared its blood on a wooden cross amid loud calls of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).
January 7-9, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 4
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