Indonesians Clash with Police Outside US Embassy

Indonesian Muslim protesters burn a US flag during a protest in Jakarta on Monday. (Photo: Reuters)

Indonesian Muslim protesters burn a US flag during a protest in Jakarta on Monday. (Photo: Reuters)

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesians enraged over an anti-Islam film hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at the US Embassy in Jakarta on Monday, in the first violence in the world’s most populous Muslim country since outrage exploded last week in the Middle East and beyond.

Eleven police officers were hospitalized after being pelted with rocks and attacked with bamboo sticks, said Jakarta police chief Maj-Gen Untung Rajab. Four protesters were arrested and at least one hospitalized.

Protesters burned a picture of President Barack Obama, who spent part of his childhood living here. They also tried to torch a fire engine parked outside the embassy, ripping a hose from the vehicle and igniting it, which sent plumes of black smoke billowing skyward.

Molotov cocktails exploded against a fence surrounding the compound as police used a bullhorn to call for calm and deployed water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd.

“We will destroy America like this flag,” a protester screamed while burning a US flag. “We will chase away the American ambassador from the country.”

The demonstration started peacefully as several hundred protesters from the Islamic People’s Forum and the Front of Islamic Defenders, many dressed in white, marched toward the diplomatic mission. The protesters paused to observe afternoon prayers about 100 meters outside the embassy, then resumed the rally. They threw rocks at riot police, who used shields to push the crowd back.

Munarman, a spokesman for the Front of Islamic Defenders, told reporters at the scene that the US government is responsible for the filmmaker who insulted Islam, regardless of laws protecting freedom of speech.

“We will continue to protest until the US government takes proper legal action against them,” he said.

Demonstrations were also held on Monday in the cities of Medan and Bogor. Over the weekend in the central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald’s restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.

The privately produced American-made film “Innocence of Muslims” ridicules Islam and depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a pedophile. The low-budget movie has prompted violent protests against US embassies and other targets in several countries in the Middle East and beyond.

Access to the video has been blocked in Indonesia after the government declared it illegal, though some clips could still be viewed online Monday. Most of the secular nation’s 210 million Muslims practice a moderate form of the religion.


2 Responses to Indonesians Clash with Police Outside US Embassy

  1. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    This blind faith is ridiculous, leading to the path of destruction of our human existence unless we stop this infectious disease of blind faith of Islam under our control in time. Something is completely wrong with these followers of Islam as compare to other believers in different religion. We have seen Da Vinci code, a film that can be considered as an complete insult to Jesus Christ believers or Christian, but tolerance was there in the Christian community.

    We have seen the Buda Status being demolished in Afghanistan at the hand of Muslim brother Talaban, a complete insane move and an insult to Buddhism, but tolerance was there in the Buddhist community. Now amateur video clip came out on Youtube, a film no one know of and can be considered as an insult to Islam, but there wasn’t any tolerance within the Muslim community. It is time for all of us to wake up and stand against the Muslim faith base violence, before it gets stronger to swallow the rest of us.

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  2. The international violence that has erupted the last days only supplies evidence for the violence attributed to their believe.Indeed, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha was an act of violence and intolerance, counteracted by non-violent responses. Who are they to react like that, whilst at the same time they violently want to destroy all that is unacceptable to their believes – irrespective of what others believe. Religious monopolism is like religious genocide.

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