Tuesday 4 December 2007
Theo Van Gogh - Free Speech Martyr killed for daring to criticise Islam
Muslims Jailed for Killing Christians
Monday, December 03, 2007
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Six Islamic militants were sentenced to up to 19 years in prison Monday for terrorist acts in eastern Indonesia that include beheading three Christian schoolgirls and shooting to death a priest.
The harshest sentences were given to Abdul Muis bin Kamarudin and Rahman Kalahe, who were convicted in the 2006 killing of Rev. Irianto Kongkoli, and in the beheadings in 2005. Both crimes were in Central Sulawesi province.
The men were also punished for the shootings of two high school students, and the bombing of a busy New Year's market that killed eight people on Dec 31, 2005.
Kongkoli was shot in the head while shopping with his wife in Palu, the provincial capital of Central Sulawesi.
Alleged members of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network left a handwritten note close to the bodies of the girls, vowing more killings to avenge the deaths of Muslims in earlier sectarian violence on Sulawesi island.
The beheadings gave fresh impetus to the country's war on terrorism and was followed by scores of arrests.
The South Jakarta District Court sentenced four others to jail terms ranging from 10 and 18 years for bomb-making and plotting attacks against Christians, applying a harsh anti-terror law imposed after the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
It was unclear if either side would appeal.
"This is a consequence of our struggle," said defendant Syaiful Anan, a 26-year-old militant from Tawangmangu in Central Java province, as bailiffs took him from the courtroom. "Eighteen years is not a problem. There will be a more noble trial before God."
Wide-scale sectarian violence killed more than 2,000 people between 1998 and 2002 in the province, roughly split between Christians and Muslims. Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, with nearly 90 percent of its 235 million people practicing the faith.