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Indonesia: Suicide Bomber Targets Police Mosque

A suicide bomber attacked the Adz-Zikro mosque located within a police complex in Cirebon City in Indonesia last Friday, April 15, 2011. Dozens were injured when the bomb exploded during Friday prayers. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim dominated nation in the world and in recent years, it has been targeted by extremist terrorist groups.

This amateur phone video which was uploaded on YouTube captured the scene inside the mosque right after the bombing.

The attack surprised many people in Indonesia especially those who usually link bomb attacks with Islamic fanatic groups. But the suicide bombing in Cirebon was unusual since a Muslim house of prayer was targeted by a terrorist.

Street in downtown Cirebon, West Java. Photo from Flickr page of Swaradila Weesy

What are the reactions of Indonesian bloggers?

Blogger Multibrand asks why the bomber was able to enter the mosque without being apprehended by the police:

Considering that Muhammad Syarief (the suspected bomber) was active in several public protests, destruction of mini market and suspected of killing an Army officer, I felt that it was very weird that he was able to enter the Police's Mosque without being noticed.

Rantau Pincono urges the public, including the media, not to immediately link the bombing with Islamic groups:

Seharusnya aparat, pemerintah dan media tidak terburu-buru untuk mengeluarkan analisa atau wacana bahwa pelakunya dari kalangan Islam. Hal ini akan menyesatkan masyarakat Indonesia dan menciptakan rasa curiga dan ketidak percayaan antar masyarakat yang memicu konflik horizontal. Stigma buruk dan pelabelan Islam sebagai dalang teroris sebenarnya sudah tidak layak untuk dijual dan dijadikan dagangan untuk proyek yang lebih besar yaitu mengebiri sikap kritis anak bangsa yang menginginkan perbaikan.

Government officials and the media should not prematurely issue a verdict or analysis that the perpetrators came from Islamic groups. This will mislead many Indonesians and create a sense of suspicion and mistrust in our society which would trigger more conflicts. Stigmatizing and labeling Islam as a terrorist mastermind actually is no longer worthy to be sold and used as commodity for ‘a bigger project’ to castrate a critical attitude of the nation's children who want ‘improvement’.

He also stated unequivocally that “ISLAM BUKAN TERORIS” (ISLAM IS NOT TERRORIST) in his post.

Forum Demokrasi believes that this latest act of terror is not exclusively related to religion:

Tetapi kita bisa menyimpulkan bahwa siapa pun kelompok dan otak dibalik serangkaian terror bom tadi, sat hal sudah jelas bahwa pada dasarnya terror bom bukan sekadar soal pertarungan pada wilayah keagamaan, tetapi lebih luas wilayahnya, sampai ke ranah politik local yang tak menutup kemungkinan berkaitan dengan jejaring iternasional, sebagaimana yang selama ini terjadi.

But we can conclude that anyone of the group and the brain behind that series of bomb terror, one thing is clear that basically the bomb terror is not just about the battle on religious area, but the area is wider, up to the local political sphere which do not close the possibility of being related to an international network.

Keluarga-Madinah mentions a TV report which identified the bomb attack as a possible communist plot:

Kabar terbaru dari Telewicara TV One News dengan Al-Chaidar tadi sore, kemungkinan pelaku bom bunuh diri tersebut adalah kader komunis, yang ingin mengadu domba antar agama di Indonesia.

Latest news from TV One news teleconference with Al-Chaidar this afternoon, possibly the perpetrator of suicide bomb is a communist cadre who wanted to pit religions in Indonesia.

There is another interesting story behind this case. Prince Raja Mochamad Saladin, an elder of the Sultanate of Kanoman, has confirmed that the suspected suicide bomber Muchammad Syarief has a kinship with the Kanoman royal palace. Muchammad Syarief's royal blood comes from his mother's line but the palace considers him an ordinary man because his mother was married to an ordinary person. Therefore, and also due to his bad behavior, the palace refused to bury him in the palace cemetery complex. Nonetheless until now the police not yet found any evidence linking the Kanoman's royal family members to the crime.

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