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Indonesian Government Turns Down Radicals

Calmer voices in the Indonesian government have rejected calls from Islamic militants for the dispatch of Indonesian troops to Gaza. The Foreign Ministry argued the last thing needed in the Middle East was for outside nations to become involved by sending troops to fight in a war that is rapidly getting out of hand. A number of hardline groups, including the Islam Defenders Front(FPI) have said they were ready to send volunteers to Gaza under the banner of jihad nd wanted government support for their effort. Foreign Minister Hassan Wrayuda responded: “Is conducting a jihad effective? We must ask Gaza if that’s what they need, and most probably they don’t…So far sending jihadists isn’t an option.”

The president of Indonesia Suslilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Israel attacks on Gaza had nothing to do with religion and regarded it as a clash of territory between Palestine and Israel which makes clear that religion plays no role in the conflict. He urged calm and said since Indonesia was a pluralistic society it could help play a role in mediating the dispute.