May 18, 2015
BOGOR, INDONESIA - An Islamic cleric in the Indonesian city of Bogor has called for the disarming of all non-Muslims in the country. Bogor is a city located in West Java, an Indonesian province which has been known for religious hotbed of conflicts between Muslims and Christians.Sanaullah ibn Kasem, a Muslim activist says that all non-Muslims cannot have the ability to take up arms to overthrow Islam in Indonesia.
Kasem said, "The Qur'an instructs a Muslim to defend their families. But Indonesia is a Muslim country, and we need to have the guns to be able to control everybody else."
Indonesian citizens' access to firearms was a hallmark of Megatawi Sukarnoputri's presidency, of the Indonesian Democratic Party. She supported Indonesian citizens' right to bear arms, so long as they are stable and economically able. The 2002 Law was passed allowing for this to happened.
However, some hard-line Muslims in the country have interpreted that the right only applies to Muslims, and nobody else. Two years ago, the Indonesian police went on a manhunt for another cleric by the name of Abdullah Ehab, who gave a similar speech in the city of Indramayu in northern West Java. That city was also where three Christian women were arrested for "converting" Muslim children to Christianity.Kasem said that non-Muslims with firearms is dangerous to Islam's stronghold of the country. He said, "The Christians want to overthrow us. We cannot allow that to happen. They will attempt to overthrow and defeat Islam in this nation, which was found as a Muslim nation. We cannot let that happened. That right only applies to the Muslims. If the dhimmis have no guns, we can control them easier and prevent a rebellion."
A week ago, five Muslims were killed by a Christian gun-owning resident in Garut, after attempting to mob and ransack his home. The gun owner was not arrested which caused a huge outflare among Garut's majority-Muslim population. Two Muslims were arrested for shooting their guns at the Christian's house, causing Garut's Islamic leaders to "declare jihad". The Indonesian army went on a crackdown, confiscating approximately 523 legally-owned firearms from potential militants.
Three days ago, a Christian-owned bakery in the city of Depok was criticized by Islamic activists in Indonesia after the owner opened fire on three Muslims assaulting a 12-year old Christian school girl, and offering her free cake and hospitality inside his bakery.Kasem declared that a "persecution" of Muslims in Indonesia was taking hold and that if president Joko Widodo did not address the problems, serious consequences would ensue.
The Bogor City Police is doing an investigation, and keeping a close eye on Sheikh Sanaullah for any possible links to terrorist groups like Jemaah Islamiyah. The police issued an order to Sanaullah to stop his hate speech, or else all of his firearms would be confiscated.
Sanaullah currently owns a handgun and two shotguns, his assault rifles were confiscated by the Bogor City Police after he had been deemed a threat.
Statiscally, Indonesia currently has the third largest gun-owning population in the Asia-Pacific region. Approximately 4,000,000 Indonesians own firearms out of a population of 126,000,000. Most of them belong to the middle-upper classes. Ethnically speaking, 45% of them are Chinese-Indonesians, 30% Javanese and others include Malay, Sundanese and Buginese.