Somalia may be next for the war on terror, but there is probably a greater need for U.S. troops in Indonesia. A group called the Laskar Jihad, which even has its own Web site, is amassing in a region called Sulawesi in an effort to wipe out Christians. It would be nice if the Indonesia government would protect all of its citizens, but it is not, according to a Time magazine report.
When the first Laskar commandos arrived in Sulawesi in July, they were formally received by the Governor of Central Sulawesi province and the head of the local parliament. Such a welcome underscores what the group's opponents and many independent analysts say is the greatest challenge to controlling the militants: their support at the highest levels of Indonesia's government. From direct infusions of cash to fund the fighters to phone calls to local military commanders to prevent crackdowns, sympathizers have ensured that the Laskar Jihad can operate with impunity.
As Julia Duin reports in National Review:
Christians who refused to convert to Islam were killed; those who did convert were then separated from their families, given Muslim names, and forcibly circumcised ï¿½ without anaesthetic, and with dirty instruments. Scissors were used on the adults. They were then told to wash in the sea to disinfect their wounds. The women underwent female genital circumcision.
One Washington, D.C.-based group, International Christian Concern, interviewed a woman with a horribly disfigured face who had been attacked in Duma, a Moluccan village on the island of Halmahera.
"When I saw the jihad warriors approaching," the woman told the interviewer, "I cried out, 'Lord help me.' Then a jihad warrior came up to me and said, 'I'll show you how God helps you,' and then placed the pistol in my mouth and pulled the trigger."
The U.S. has intervened in various nations (Serbia, Kuwait, Somalia) in an effort to save Muslim lives, and gotten nothing but grief for it. Now is the time for the U.S. to do something that many people in America feel is unnecessary, defend Christians from Muslim jihadists. The mantra that Islam is a religion of peace is becomes more and more of a farce as Muslims in Sudan and Indonesia massacre and enslave their Christian neighbors. In Saudi Arabia, Muslims who covert to Christianity are beheaded.
We should pray for the Christians and the Muslims in Indonesia, that this sort of thing would stop, but we should also urge our elected representatives and President Bush to intervene militarily to keep the two sides apart.
Hackers would also do the world a great service if they would bring down the Laskar Jihad Web site.