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Indonesia's top Islamic body bans terror JAKARTA - Indonesia's highest Islamic authority has said Muslim law forbids terrorism and suicide bombings, but that jihad, or holy war, is a religious obligation if Islam is under attack. The Indonesian Ulama Council deputy chairman Din Syamsudin said yesterday that it had issued an edict on the issue late on Tuesday.
'Islam condemns all kinds of destruction,' he told the Associated Press. 'Killing other people, especially innocents, has been declared haram.' Haram means forbidden under Islamic law. He added that jihad, or holy war, was a must if Islam was under attack, but even then would be regulated by strict rules that forbid the killing of innocents.
Indonesia's moderate religious tradition has been threatened by rising extremism and a series of terror attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants. These included the bombings of a nightclub and pub in Bali last year, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Some of the more than 30 people convicted of the Bali bombings have claimed the attack was permitted under Islam.
The Indonesian edict was in line with a call from the world's top Muslim scholars, who gathered in Malaysia in July. They roundly condemned terrorism for bringing disrepute to the religion, and called for books by extremists to be banned and for more dialogue with the West. The ulama, or Islamic scholars, said that the killing of innocent civilians has no place in Islam. Terrorists threaten Muslim countries as well as Western nations if left unchecked, they said.
News of the edict came as a senior police officer warned the Indonesian capital could be the target of bombing during the Christmas and New Year festivities. 'Based on intelligence information that we have received, the prominent issue that needs to be addressed is bombings,' Antara news agency quoted Jakarta police chief Inspector General Makbul Padmanegara as saying.
He said police would be stationed at about 240 churches throughout Jakarta and its suburbs to prevent a repeat of the Christmas Eve 2000 bombings, which left 19 dead across the country. The United States Embassy last week warned that it saw a 'particularly high' risk of terror attacks in Indonesia over the festive period. 'The potential for additional bombings of places where Americans and Westerners are known to live, congregate, shop, or visit... is particularly high during the weeks around Christmas through the New Year,' the embassy said.
Indonesian police are hunting for two top JI operatives, Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top, who they suspect were involved in the attacks. Police believe both men, who are Malaysians and explosives experts, are planning fresh attacks.



Posted in Religion @ 18 December 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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