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Indonesia Muslims scholar praised; and a comment - The Examiner

22 February 1997

Title : Indonesia Muslims scholar praised
Author : UCAN
Publication : The Examiner
Date : February 22, 1997

NOTE: The Examiner is a Catholic Church weekly from Mumbai, India,
and claims to be the oldest Christian publication in India.

A Catholic politician has commended a Muslim psychologist for his
article that places the onus on Islamic fanaticism as the main
cause of recent anti-Christian riots in two predominantly Muslim
towns in Java. "I respect Dr Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono for his
courage to tell the truth about the riots in Situbondo and
Tasikmalaya," Benedictus N. Marbun, a Partai Demokrasi Indonesia
(Indonesian democratic party) member of the Indonesian House of
Representatives, said.

In his article in the Jan. 27 issue of "Kompas" newspaper, Sarwono
rejected the government's allegation that leftist groups were
behind the violence and Muslim leaders' view that the main cause of
the riots was a social gap. Sarwono asserted that Situbondo and
Tasikmalaya, though different in economic character, the first
being an agrarian town and the latter a semi-industrial one, are
known as Islamic towns due to their strong tradition of "pesantren"
(Islamic boarding schools).

Anti-Christian "bigotry" has been preached in mosques and taught in
pesantren, claimed Sarwono, a psychology professor at Jakarta's
State University of Indonesia. "A negative attitude toward
Christians then enters the subconscious of Muslims, creating a mass
hatred and prejudice," Sarwono wrote.

In case of India, the same publication will not admit that the
Muslims behave towards the Hindus because of anti-Hindu bigotry
being drummed into them.

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