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Fresh attack on Bali could cause sectarian violence DENPASAR - A Muslim religious leader in the predominately Hindu island of Bali in Indonesia has said that any fresh terrorist attack on the island could spark sectarian violence. "The relations between the majority Hindu people and the Muslim minority are still good but I fear this could change if there were another attack," Wayan Sahdan, a Balinese Muslim and director of a private Islamic school on the island told Adnkronos International (AKI).

Wayan Sahdan was speaking one year after the October 1 terrorist attacks on Bali which killed 22 people and almost four years since the 12 October 2002 Bali nightclub bombings which killed more than 200 people. The religious leader said that the real victims in the attacks were the Muslims of Bali. "It is easy for the terrorists but it is hard for us, the local Muslims," Wayan Sahdan told AKI. "It is us who live here and who have to endure the abuse and explain that what has happened has nothing to do with Islam," he said.

"Especially after the first bombing, people came up to me and told me: 'You Muslims did this.' But I did nothing and I do not agree with what they [the terrorists] have done. The culprits were not locals," said Wayan Sahdan. According to official estimates, only five percent of the four million inhabitants of Bali are Muslim. This estimate does however not include the immigrants from nearby Java that have moved to Bali in the past decades which official estimates put at about hundreds of thousands of people.

Wayan Sahdan, who teaches at the Muhammadiyah pesantren boarding school in Denpasar, believes that the attacks are part of in international conspiracy aimed at discrediting Islam. "The masterminders use Muslims who know little about Islam," he said. "They brainwash them." According to experts, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is behind the Bali attack. JI is a terrorist group fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Southeast Asia. The group has been blamed for a variety of attacks in Indonesia, including two in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004.



Posted in Terrorism @ 03 October 2006 03:48 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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