The American press which readily reports examples of hatred and violence on the part of Muslims did not report the quiet events that transpired in Indonesia this Christmas. There was not a single anti-Christian incident in the most populous Muslim nation in the world except for a single bomb hoax. jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo made it a point to spend Christmas eve visiting various Christian churches and he dispatched 17,690 police to guard them against any possible violence. “I got the impression,” he said, “that Christians are celebrating Christmas this year more freely and happily. they don’t feel threatened anymore.” He also urged the people of Indonesia to “build a city for everyone” and “set aside all the discriminating manner in ourselves.” The governor was extremely proud that several Islamic groups provided security around Christian churches.
The unreported news about Christian-Muslim relations is that in many nations like Indonesia, the government protects freedom of religion. Unfortunately, in nations the American government supports like Saudi Arabia, the very concept of freedom of religion is banned. If a Muslim terrorist kills Christians, it is on the front pages of the American press, but a peaceful Indonesian Christmas will never appear on right wing anti-Muslim programs like those of Rush Limbaugh.