May 28, 2005: Islamist extremists suspected in Indonesian bombings

On May 28, 2005 two IEDs went off 15 minutes apart in a market in Tentena, Indonesia, killing 22 and injuring another 40.

TENTENA, INDONESIA – Religion can inspire the heights of human achievement as well as the depths of human depravity.

There is a bumper sticker I have come across a fair bit in recent years, even here in little ol’ Russell, Ontario, that speaks to religious inclusion (see below). It speaks to the lofty idea that all religions are inherently the same (they all refer to a superior deity or deities) and seek to guide humans to lead better lives. As a consequence, all believers should have enough in common that they can all get along together.

Sounds good, right? Alas, there is a lot of space between what should happen and what actually does happen.

More often it seems the exact opposite seems to be occurring. Members of religion A see their creed as superior to that of members of religion B and ‘co-existence’ is the last thing on their minds. If we are lucky, this distaste and lack of acceptance stops at intolerance. If we are not, it leads to violence.

Islamist terrorists are really bad at allowing any differences in belief. Today’s attack is a good example.

On this day in 2005

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) went off 15 minutes apart in a market in Tentena, Indonesia: the second bomb was larger than the first. 22 people died, including a Christian clergyman and a three-year old boy. A further 40 were wounded.

The terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) may have been behind the attacks as that organisation has been active for decades in Indonesia. Still, some tried to push back against the notion that ongoing Christian-Muslim tensions were at fault.

This has nothing to do with the sectarian conflict. This is the work of uncivilized terrorists who just don’t want to see peace in this region.

Rinaldy Damanik, Christian clergyman and leader of the Synod Churches of Central Sulawesi

Terrorists or local Muslims, the results are the same. There are those who will never accept a multiplicity of faiths. To them, all others have no right to live.

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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