Explained that newspaper:
‘Increasingly strong pro-Jewish sentiments also appear to be an outgrowth of an evangelical and charismatic Christian movement that with the help of American and European missionaries has taken root here in the past decade. Some experts regard this movement as a reaction against the growing role of orthodox Islam in much of the rest of Indonesia.
“In Manado, Christianity has always had a strong identity mark in the belief that it’s opposed to the surrounding sea of Islam,” said Theo Kamsma, a scholar at The Hague University who has studied Manado’s Jewish legacy. Christianity and a reemerging Judaism share a “rebellious” nature, he added.
Two years before the menorah was built, a Christian real estate developer raised a 98-foot-tall statue of Jesus on top of a hill here; the statue is about three-quarters the size of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. In the town center, churches belonging to a multitude of denominations now sit a few hundred yards apart.
During Dutch colonial rule, Jewish communities were established in major trading cities where they often dealt in real estate, acting as mediators between colonial rulers and locals, said Anthony Reid, a scholar on Southeast Asia at the Australian National University. Given Indonesia’s traditionally moderate Islam, anti-Jewish sentiments were never strong.
“The anti-Jewish feelings really came in the 1980s and 1990s, all because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mr. Reid said.’
I owe the following to Assad Elepty, of Sydney, a Coptic activist and Islamist-watcher; as to whether the inferences drawn are accurate, that remains to be seen:
'Al-Jazeera’s Arabic-language online newspaper, alJazeera.net, recently published what can only be described as a targeted hit piece against Indonesia’s tiny Jewish community. The article (English here) describes them as, “…provid[ing] unlimited support to the Israeli occupation in Palestine,” and also as being “among the Jewish religious extremists who previously went out in marches supporting the Israeli aggression on Gaza.” Then comes the real kicker: “These Jews have constructed a tower for a menorah in Manadu, which is considered the largest in the world.”
What does this al-Jazeera piece mean? To understand, we must first examine how Islamic law treats non-Muslims. Generally-speaking, non-Muslims living under Muslim rule have two options: die, or convert to Islam (see Qur’an 9.5). However, for Jews and Christians, who are given special status in Islam as the ‘People of the Book [i.e. the Bible]‘, a third option is available: become a dhimmi, or protected person. The basis for this comes from Qur’an 9.29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” [emphasis added].
Regarding this last phrase, Ibn Kathir, the most widely respected Qur’anic commentator, explains, “Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah [i.e. Jews and Christians] or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.” Jews and Christians living in Muslim countries are to live as second-class citizens. When the caliph ‘Umar entered Jerusalem in the 7th century, he codified this by creating several rules for the conquered Christians to live by, called ‘the Pact of ‘Umar,’ which is the basis for Islam’s treatment of Jewish and Christian minorities today. These rules include, but are not limited to, the following:
• they may not construct new places of worship, or restore old ones;
• they may not teach the Qur’an to their children;
• they may not dress like or otherwise imitate Muslims;
• they must refrain from erecting religious symbols and displaying them outside of their places of worship; and
• they may not prevent any of their people from converting to Islam.
When the Indonesian Jews constructed that towering menorah, they were explicitly breaking the terms of the dhimmi covenant. According to Islamic law, this means they lose their protected status, and it becomes incumbent on Muslims to attack them until they either convert to Islam or are killed.....
We’ve seen how Muslims responded when they believed that Coptic Christians in Egypt had broken their dhimmi covenant. How will they respond to Indonesian Jews breaking that same covenant? Only time will tell, but it certainly points to the danger and threat of violence that constantly hangs over the heads of Jews and Christians living in Muslim countries.'Read the rest of the article here:
(Hat tip: reader Shirlee)