Islamdom Rising in Indonesia
"But there is also fear that the global rise of militant fundamentalism has begun to change Indonesia. With democracy’s arrival, radical Islamists were allowed to return from exile, where the former military government had sent them. That was followed by the terrorist bombing of a nightclub on the predominantly Hindu island of Bali in 2002, in which 200 people died, then by other bombings in Jakarta and Bali, again. The government says it has seriously weakened Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorism network blamed for those attacks. But the Islamic Defenders Front, less lethal but more numerous, still vandalizes bars and discos in Jakarta and beats up their patrons, trying to force the businesses to close.
"Meanwhile, Islamic observance has turned more conservative. Many more women wear the veil. And Islamic political parties have gained strength by arguing that they can do something about Indonesia’s endemic corruption and violence."
From the NYT