Letter From Indonesia

Letter From Indonesia
CORRESPONDENCE\r\nLetter From\r\nIndonesia\r\nby Doug Bandow\r\nModern Religious Wars\r\nThe weathered boatman peered out at\r\nthe three Westerners as we ehmbcd into\r\na small water taxi to cross the bay from\r\nthe cit}' of Ambon to the airport. "You're\r\nfrom America? Send us arms. The Mu,slims\r\narc bad." He used his hands to indicate\r\na rifle as we pulled away from shore.\r\nAmbon, the provincial capital of die\r\nMoluccas, or Spice Islands, is now largely\r\nquiet. The cit}' is blanketed with police\r\nand militar\\- units, which ha\\e suppressed\r\nmost intercommimal violence.\r\nThe remains of war are present everywhere,\r\nhowever. A few^ blocks from our\r\nhotel, street barricades separate Chri,stiau\r\nand Muslim sections of town.\r\nYou \\enture into cnem\\' territory at\r\nvour peril. W'lhle returning from Muslim\r\nterritor\\', our interpreter, a Christian\r\nhotel manager named Theny Barlola,\r\nmentioned that it was the first time he\r\nhad been in that area in three years. He\r\ninitialK- hesitated to accompan\\ us, exclaiming:\r\n"If I go, tlie\\' will kill me, the)\r\nwill take me awa\\." But he relented when\r\nthe Muslim authorihes sent a van for us.\r\nBetween the sections lie several blocks\r\nof no man's land, ruined buildings that\r\nonce housed Chrishans and Muslims, as\r\nwell as a thri\\ing Chinese business district.\r\nThe remains of gutted two- and\r\nthree-storv buildings stand as silent sentinels.\r\nBits of wall surround the debris of\r\nwar:...

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