Indonesia: Islamic Groups Condemn Terrorism

Two Presidential decrees issued last Friday bringing in tougher new measures to clamp down on terrorism after two hundred people were killed in Bal have been backed by the two main Islamic groups, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, which together represent 70 million people.

The decrees were passed on Friday after successive delays due to tension among Indonesia’s ministers, some of whom feared a backlash by Indonesia’s more radical Islamic groups and the backing of the two main Islamic groups will be welcome news for Jakarta, under intense pressure to do more against terrorist groups operating in the country.

Hasyim Muzadi, the leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, stated that “We urgently needed this type of legislation”, while Ahmad Syafii Maarif, leader of Muhammadiyah, claimed that “The police force needs a legal framework within which it can combat terrorism and without this, it has no powers to act”.

The new laws give the Indonesian authorities increased powers of detention and provide for the introduction of the death penalty.


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