By Adi Chowdhury
The early hours of Saturday in North Sumatra were left dazed in the wake of a barbaric attack on Buddhist temples, plundered and burnt. And the reason for this violence? The incitement? Perhaps because Buddhists were burning Qur’an? Or maybe the Buddhists desecrated the Mosques? Or the Buddhists delivered threats against Muslims? No, none of that happened.
Nope, it’s just because a 41-year-old Chinese woman asked the local mosque to turn down the volume of the adhan, regular Islamic prayers. This follows in the footsteps of every single other religious conflict–sparked by the most trivial of differences that would almost certainly be overlooked if the vehement resentment towards religious nonconformity didn’t exist.
The Jakarta Post reported that the attacks have caused billions of rupiah in losses. Temples (known as vihara and pagoda) suffered vigorous plundering and “lost prayer equipment, Buddha statues, tables, chairs, lamps, and several cars and motorbikes.” Fortunately, no lives were lost, and no one was injured, reports The Bangkok Post.
From The Jakarta Report:
“North Sumatra Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rina Sari Ginting said the riots began when a 41-year-old of Chinese descent, only identified as Meliana, reprimanded an administrator of the Al Maksum Mosque to lower its microphone volume.
Rina further said Meliana had previously conveyed similar warnings to the administrator, hence, the mosque’s congregation members visited her house following her complaint for the umpteenth time on Friday evening.
The meeting between Al Maksum congregation members and Meliana heated up, forcing Tanjung Balai Police officers to safeguard Meliana and her husband at the police station. Angry mobs continued to flock to Meliana’s house, however. Some had even attempted to burn down the house but it was prevented by people living in the neighbourhood.”
Seven people have been taken into custody for allegations of their involvement in this horrific crime.