May 21, 2015BEKASI, INDONESIA - Over the recent weeks, Indonesian self-defense shootings have skyrocketed as the growing Islamic intolerance for Christians has grown to where clerics are calling for all non-Muslims to be disarmed. Bekasi, located just right outside of Jakarta is no exception when it comes to the heated rivalry between Muslims and the persecuted Christian minority.
The creation of the Islamic State of Indonesia and the Philippines has not helped the situation, skyrocketing the number of gun-buyers in Indonesia as the presence of Islamic militants recruited from the southern Philippines has also increased in Indonesia.
Chrisopher Akarsana, is a Catholic who lives in Bekasi, and an owner of four assault rifles, including an AR-15, which is very popular western nations like the United States and Canada. Akarsana owns a small convenience store, and is the father of four kids. His wife, Mary Akarsana also owns guns, three pistols that's a total of six guns.
He says that he commonly enjoys the guns for target-shooting, but ever if in need for self-defense, he won't call the police and neither will he hesitate his firearms as self-defense with a firearm is completely legal in Indonesia.
That time for that came at approximate 2:45 AM, when he heard yelling coming from just right outside his house. The windows began to shatter as knives and rocks began to flying into his house, concluding that there were multiple perpetuators. Eventually, chants were "Allahu-Akbar" and "death to infidels" were heard.That is when Akarsana took out his Bushmaster AR-15, and began firing at the gang of Islamic extremists, killing three of them and wounding another two.
When the police arrived, the names recorded were Ahmad Salim, Rahim al-Jalil, Sudirman Basilan (who were all dead) and the names of the two injured were Omar Khaled and Muhsin Aris.
It was revealed that Salim, Al-Jalil and Basilan were in fact, not from Indonesia but from the southern Philippines. The two that were Indonesians, Khaled and Aris told the police that they were indeed, new recruits from the Muslim-dominated island of Mindanao, where most of the Muslims in the Philippines reside.
Akarsana said, "I don't know how they found out that I was Christian, I don't even sell pork at my shop. But they have nobody to blame but themselves for their deaths. I will not hesitate one bit to defend my family and my property. Clearly owning firearms does me and my family good."
Ever since the creation of ISIP, there was been a spike in the presence of Filipino militants in Indonesia, most of them being new recruits to the ISIS-backed terrorist organization. The same has occurred for the country's northern neighbor, this year, approximately 98 Indonesians have been arrested in the Philippines and more than 200 Filipinos were executed in Indonesia.
Several news station from both Indonesia and Philippines alike interviewed Akarsana and his family, as well as the residents of Bekasi of what they think about non-Muslims of Indonesia. As it turns out, the citizens of Bekasi state that they did not agree with what ISIP is doing.
Hussein Anggabaya, who is a Muslim resident says, "I don't know who these terrorists think they're representing. I have Christian friends, and I work with Christians, they're good people. I certainly do not see a need for killing or trying to hurt them. We have religious freedom here in Indonesia, and being a Christian is not illegal. I don't want it to be illegal either, and there is a clear difference between defending the Islamic faith and spreading terror to non-Muslims."
Jibril Tempawan, a Malay and Muslim as well says that he regularly shops at Akarsana's store for donuts and smokes. Tempawan also disagrees with what the militants, and in fact himself, is a gun owner.Tempawan said, "They got what they deserve. I know Akarsana personally, I shop at his store a lot. I buy donuts and treats for my kids, and smokes for myself. Occasionally, I buy hot dogs. He sells good food, and he's a good and friendly man. I don't know who in their right mind would wanna hurt such a man, but if that was me, I would pull out guns too, which I do own actually."
Zainab Abdullah, a woman who also shops at Akarsana's store is joining in the community's opinions.
"Akarsana is a good man, who sells great food. We Bekasi residents make peace with our Christian neighbors. Those people saying that they hate Christians do not represent me neither do they represent us. They need to be dealt with harshly. The real jihad needs to be against these terrorists."
Afterwards, Akarsana offered the newscasters a tour of his shop - which contains elements of traditional Indonesian products, as well as western foods. He sells hot dogs, hot and ready to eat and also has a donut section where customers can buy a variety of donuts and other pastries.
Akarsana refused to exposed the name of his store, in fears of retaliation attempts by more Islamic militants.
The Indonesian National Police states that firearms application requests are skyrocketing in the country, mostly coming from minorities from the non-Sunni population. Most cite self-defense as their main priority for owning a firearm. While access to firearms is relatively easy in Indonesia, as long as the person is economically-able, mentally stable, age 18 or older and has an acceptable criminal record, gun stores actually do not exist in Indonesia. Citizens must order the firearms from a catalog provided by the Indonesian National Police, which provides all the firearms that are legal for Indonesian citizens to own. However, at least once every three months, the INP hosts gun shows in major cities such as Jakarta, which is the only way Indonesians can actually physically purchase a firearm rather than online.