By Arlina Arshad (AFP)
[JAKARTA — As a pious young Muslim in Indonesia, Didit Sukmana prays five times a day, recites the Koran daily and fasts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
That's not all. The 23-year-old student and Jakarta resident refuses to shake hands with women, will not marry a non-Muslim and approves of such Islamic Hudud sanctions as cutting off the hands of thieves and stoning adulterers to death.
"I wholeheartedly agree that sharia law should be implemented in Indonesia. If beheading and hand-chopping put people off crimes which then results in a more orderly society, why not?" he told AFP.
It's not the image the outside world usually associates with Indonesia's urban youth, who are more often described as enthusiastic adopters of new technologies like Facebook than supporters of strict Islamic law.
But according to a recent survey by Germany's Goethe-Institut, the bulk of youths in the world's largest Muslim-majority country share remarkably traditional values about faith and family, despite a decade of social and political change since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.]
More on "moderate" Indonesia at "Google news"
Meanwhile, the Australian Government funds Indonesian islamic schools, in the deluded belief that this will magically result in a "moderate" form of islam:
12 July 2006
Australian government funds 2,000 new Islamic schools
Australia and Indonesia today signed agreements totalling AUD$355 million to build and extend about 2000 schools in Eastern Indonesia over the next three years. This major initiative will also help to enhance education quality and improve education management.
The Australian-funded program will include public junior secondary schools as well as Islamic junior secondary schools. Schools will be built by local tradespeople using locally-supplied construction materials.
The agreements signed today comprise AUD$200 million of loans and AUD$155 million of grants from the Australia Indonesia Partnership.
“The signing of these agreements reaffirms Australia’s commitment to work with the Indonesian Government and local communities to build new junior secondary schools and improve the quality of education in Indonesia,” said Australian Ambassador, Bill Farmer.
“This program will support Indonesia’s education strategy to provide universal basic education. Increasing access to education through the construction of new junior secondary facilities, particularly in poor areas, is a priority,” said the Ambassador.
“Australia is pleased to be working with Indonesia in providing funds for both public and Islamic schools”.
The selection of sites to build and extend schools will be based on assessment of needs and community involvement.
Australian assistance to Indonesian education currently includes programs aimed at strengthening school and community governance and management systems, as well as improved classroom teaching and learning, mainly in poor areas of Eastern Indonesia. In Aceh, Australian activities include rebuilding of public and Islamic schools damaged in the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.