There was an unfortunate incident yesterday in Samarinda in Kalimantan province (the large island north of the island of Java where Jakarta is located).
I bring this up for a couple reasons: (1) If you heard about it in the States, then do not worry – our safety is not in any more question than yours (there are crazy people everywhere – here, there and the US); and (2) the Indonesian people are the nicest, kindest, friendliest, most loving, most gentle people on the planet. 90% of them are Muslim and they resoundingly condemn this act. The Jakarta Post today quoted the head of the Nadlatul Ilama (NU – the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia) denouncing this as an act of blasphemy and that the person(s) committing this are not worthy of being called a Muslim. I believe him – and if you knew the Muslim people like we have quickly grown to know them and love them, you would too. This is NOT who they are. ISIS does NOT represent them any more than the KKK represents any of you. Indonesia prides itself on accepting others and other religions – we have been nothing but uniformly and roundly accepted. We recently attended an Inter-Faith meeting of Muslims, Hindu, Buddhist, LDS, Catholic, etc. and we all got along famously. One of our favorite people is Dr. Titi, a very faithful Muslim woman who wears a hijab. The notion that she harbors a secret desire to wage jihad against us is beyond ludicrous. Trust me, they shake their heads at the craziness just like we do.