Indonesia suicide church bomber kills at least one
At least one person has been killed and several injured by a suicide bombing at a church in Central Java, Indonesia.
Witnesses said the bomber struck as people were leaving the Bethel Injil Sepuluh church in Keputon, Solo after a Sunday service.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country but is officially a secular state.
Militant Islamist groups have carried out a number of deadly attacks in recent years.
Earlier, Mr Suyanto told El Shinta radio that nothing could justify the “inhuman” attack.
“It is the task of everybody to overcome this act of terrorism,” he said.
He said he had spoken to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who had “conveyed his deep condolences for those who are now being treated in hospital”.
The identity of the bomber and the motive behind the attack are not yet known.
Solo is the hometown of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, considered to be the spiritual leader of the Islamist militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which has links to al-Qaeda.
JI has been blamed for a string of attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people.
The group has been significantly weakened by the arrest or killing of many of its key leaders, but lone bombers have continued to carry out attacks. In June this year, Ba’asyir was jailed for 15 years for supporting a militant training camp.
– September 25, 2011; BBC News
So just as I was talking about my hope for the elusive moderate Muslim and I specifically mention Indonesia, along comes a crazy Islamic suicide bomber who targets a Christian church in that officially secular state! This doesn’t disprove my thesis necessarily, as the State official was quick to condemn the bombing as was the President of Indonesia, but it does make me wonder, what is being preached at most of the mosques there? Will “mainstream” Islamic Indonesian imams as a group condemn the bombing and the targeting of Christians and call for peace with their Christian neighbors? That would be one true sign that moderate Muslims do exist and are willing to use their very religion to stand up to the fanatics. I’d love to hear from readers in that country — what does anyone know about the imam on the street and what the average Indonesian who goes to Friday services will hear after a terrible attack like the one in this story?