Asmara Wasahua & Welhelmina Holle

Dec 12th, 2008, in News, by

Sectarian violence over classroom blasphemy allegations in the Central Moluccas near Ambon.

On 8th December in the town of Masohi in Central Maluku province a mob of about 300 burned down two churches and dozens of homes, both Christian and Muslim, over accusations that a Christian teacher at SD 4 Masohi primary school, Welhelmina Holle, had made insulting remarks to her students about Islam or Muhammad in late November.

The demonstrators initially marched to the regent's office, and carried banners that read:

  • No indoctrination in schools
  • Don't destroy the peace with blind fanaticism
  • We don't want to be taught by an immoral teacher
  • Welhelmina should be fired

Two days later police arrested a local parliamentary candidate of the Justice Party, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS), Asmara Wasahua, for inciting the violence.

Asmara Wasahua
Asmara Wasahua

Asmara Wasahua, in his role as co-ordinator of the Forum Komunikasi Umat Islam of Maluku Tengah, led the protest march, and is said by police to have provoked people to attack churches and homes, and of putting his name to an inflammatory pamphlet. okezone

Some reports suggest that the violence initially began due to what protesters regarded as police brutality in scuffles that broke out outside the regent's office, and later when protestors marched to the town's police headquarters. balugu

Wilhelmina Holle has been under investigation for some time and was also arrested yesterday, and faces prosecution under the blasphemy law.


44 Comments on “Asmara Wasahua & Welhelmina Holle”

  1. avatar Fanglong says:

    Don’t destroy the peace with blind fanaticism

    Just destroy churches & houses with clairvoyance !

  2. avatar TONI says:

    Please

    I would like to know what the teacher said, the insulting remarks the teacher made/said. I mean, did she really want to insult the muslims or Muhammad? Is there any chance that some people in that village misinterpreted her words? Sometimes small remarks are transformed in other words, becoming a tool for bigotry. Could anyone provide the remarks?

  3. avatar Lanang says:

    Reminds me of Sudan’s teddy bear.

  4. avatar Irene says:

    what kind of secular country enforces a blasphemy law

  5. avatar Rama Treiz says:

    I fear more cases like this will arise in the future especially since SBY passed the anti porno bill. All sorts of fanatics will use any kind of ‘slip up’ or ‘misconception’ as tools to snuff out kaffirs. I wonder if Christians will in retaliation start burning mosques and target muslim houses in ambon due to this incident, or will they simply stay put and not retaliate?

  6. avatar Hedi says:

    This is a kind of paradox thing, it’s over and over again in Indonesia. We always claim as religion people, but the other time we like to insult another faith or religion. And don’t forget corruption and another violence cases. We seem more like barbarians… 🙁

  7. avatar Ross says:

    Toni makes the best point, i.e. WHAT DID WILHELMINA SAY?

    The JP didn’t tell us, and as ususal the Globe can’t be bought without aten hour search, and I gather the Indonesian papers haven’t revealed the dreadful blasphemy.

    Anyway, whatever she said, it should not get her arrested. If she over-stepped the mark, it is for the school bosses to deal with.

    Islam supports the exploitation of women by countenancing polygamy, a practice made all the more evil by the way Islam denies the same carnal indulgences to women, who would probably be stoned if they engaged in polyandry.
    Yet the mad mullahs get their knickers in a twist if anybody criticises them. The MUI started the trouble, by whining to the cops, and the PKS bigot just jumped on the bandwagon- vermin all.
    And here’s me said I was giving it a rest till 2009. Will try again.
    Merry Xmas to all.

  8. avatar Danang says:

    I agree with Toni and Ross.
    What did Wilhelmina say about Muhammad?
    I think it is normal if there is someone who insult your prophet and then you get angry. However, it is rather different matter if you are angry without any reason. I am pretty sure that she must have said something that could insult Muslim. Anyway, I hope the government can solve the conflict as soon as possible and return the peace in Maluku

  9. avatar David says:

    Hmm, site was down for three hours…

    Ross, Toni, others, Jakarta Globe said:

    Authorities have refused to reveal the comments or the teacher’s religion, but one local civil servant said she had insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

    and

    Fredy Matulessy, a civil servant in Masohi, said local residents remained on edge and were still coming to grips with the clashes. “The riot happened because the teacher [allegedly] scorned the Prophet Muhammad,” Fredy said.

  10. avatar Rob says:

    It would still be interesting to see what constitutes an insult and scorn with respect to the actual words spoken.

    How does a blasphemy law work in a secular state? Would it be blasphemous to question the “divinity” of Jesus or the degree of “enlightenment” of Buddha?

  11. avatar Andrew says:

    I think it is normal if there is someone who insult your prophet and then you get angry.

    Being normal is one thing, destroying buildings and taking law into own hands are a completely different animal altogether.

    Congratulations – Indonesia continues to make progress to become a leading barbaric society.

  12. avatar Rob says:

    Andrew…

    I agree and disagree with your points.

    Yes, being normal and getting angry if you feel you or something you believe in has been scorned or ridiculed. It is a completely different matter when that anger manifests itself in violence and destruction. Taking the law into your own hands as it was done is this case is not only a different animal but wrong!

    On the second point. Why do the actions of a few allow for the labeling of the whole? That kind of stereotyping and labeling is par for the course on IM. However, it hardly does much in terms of contributing to debate about how best to confront and defeat a minority that would rather perpetuate violence and destruction than promote dialogue.

  13. avatar joao says:

    Instead of burning down churches and homes gleefully as a standard response to the slightest hints of blasphemy, why don’t they (Asmara Wasahua and friends) just burn down pigsties? Think about it: free roasted pork for all! YUM!

  14. avatar Odinius says:

    If a Christian (allegedly) insulting Islam is blasphemy according to the secular law of Indonesia, then surely so is burning down a Church, as well as wanton destruction of private property and a gross violation of the parishoners’ rights.

    Indonesia needs to get its act together and start putting these fascist-wannabes in prison.

  15. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    This is one minor episode is being blown beyond proportions by all the local thugs using religion as a convenient pretext so as to mobilize thugs and troublemakers from outside Ambon- and probably by the Ambonese to mobilise non Muslim Indonesians to come and settle scores.

    See it for what it truly is- low-lifes and thugs engaging in clan warfare and very probably criminal turf war for small scale drug trading.

    Literally these moron will use any excuse to start a fight- including talking to one of “their” girls.

    The Christians are mainly one race- Melanesian the Muslim generally Austronesian- Javanese Minang, atak, Pakembangi, etc.

    The police are mainly Ambonese and support and provoke the Ambonese in a show of solidarity.
    The military are generally Austronesians and Muslims and routinely provoke both sides to instigate a battle- which they will win against the police due t their heavy weapons- even under Suharto- during one visit I made to Ambon- after the police headquarters was attacked by sustained mortar fire and heavy machine gun- 4 polisi killed. Terrible.

    It turned out the issue was about some hoodlum pestering another hoodlums’ girl.

    It is routine imbecility, machismo, bravado and braggadocio that has been going on without the issue of religion.
    Then also factor in issue of boredom, remoteness meaning anyone living in Ambon is not subject t same mainstream social pressure to behave, and deep rooted unemployment.

    This is exactly like a Northern Ireland Issue- thuggery and clannism- with the superficial division of religion.
    It started around the start of he 20th Century- when Acehnese and Batak would sail to Ambon to settle scores against the Ambonese KNIL (Dutch era military) actions and crimes against Sumateran villages and civilians.

    The Ambonese were the worst military collaborator- and then in the 1950s attempted to secede from Indonesia- and still the Dutch are active with their NGO provoking trouble amongst their South Maluku lapdog- so many Muslims have a very deep grudge against the war crimes and massacres these Protestant Dutch-ophile Ambonse committed.

    Rob is correct.
    These idiots all make a bad name for everyone else.

    I think the only solution is to depopulate Ambon- everyone must leave- refill it with Javanese and Sumateran- so there is actually work instead of adat of getting perpetually smashed on palm toddy and herbal drugs and having casual sex with anything with orifice.

    Ambon has always been vassal territory of Sultan of Ternate- which was subordinate and
    strongly allied to Java.

    Send all the Ambonese to Holland or Irian.
    If the Dutch love their shucking, jiving, grinning, singing chorister noble savage- let them accommodate their beloved obsequious pest, instead of constantly moaning about Indonesia.

  16. avatar Saipul says:

    Conditions are not good in our country if people can be incited to riot and destroy private property and a church over such a trivial matter. But rather than implementing progressive measures, the government seems only concerned with the upcoming elections.

  17. avatar Lairedion says:

    PN,

    It has not so much to do with thuggery and clannism but all with transmigration, islamization and provocation, in short dirty politics and power play. We see it everywhere in Indonesia, in Maluku, Papua, Kalimantan, Timor Leste. Transfer Javanese and Madurese en masse to outer islands, disregard local tradition and culture, let the army do their dirty stuff and you know you have trouble. And what’s wrong with clannism anyway? I’m proud of my Manadonese “marga”. “Marga” is an integral part of Manadonese and Batak culture and identity, and also of Ambonese to a lesser extent.

    I think the only solution is to depopulate Ambon- everyone must leave- refill it with Javanese and Sumateran- so there is actually work instead of adat of getting perpetually smashed on palm toddy and herbal drugs and having casual sex with anything with orifice.

    Maluku is for the Moluccans, not for Javanese and Sumateran. I think the solution is to transfer all non-indigenous folks back to their ancestral homelands or force them to adapt local customs and culture and let the local Ambonese try to restore their adat rule of “pela” again. Pela is a Moluccan tradition of forging strong relationships between villages and communities. These relationships always superseded religion so it was normal to have pela between Muslim and Christian villages. That’s why Ambonese Muslims and Christians (both Melanesian) have co-existed peacefully for so long. Transmigration, disorder after the fall of Soeharto with a dubious rule of the army and creeping islamization have put these ancient tradition under pressure and this came to an outburst in 1999 when Ambonese Muslims and Christians, provoked by police and army, forgot about their tradition and went to war.

    Unfortunately the situation nowadays is very fragile. An alleged insult (we still don’t know what Wilhelmina said) can put everything back on fire again.

    Odinius said:

    If a Christian (allegedly) insulting Islam is blasphemy according to the secular law of Indonesia, then surely so is burning down a Church, as well as wanton destruction of private property and a gross violation of the parishoners’ rights.

    Indonesia needs to get its act together and start putting these fascist-wannabes in prison.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  18. avatar shorty says:

    I have a creed and a dream which is embraced by pancasila……….let me do.
    My thing and I’ll let you do yours PROVIDED neither of us hurt each other – deliberately or in ignorance.

    I recognize that a country/nation is a growing/developing thing and as such the founding precepts need to be examined, challenged and modified according to current values.

    Truth, honesty, compassion and tolerance are constant.

    They are not the exclusive property of islam, christianity, judaism or atheism.

    Let’s stop the preceeding crap justifying/explaining/ accepting this kind of action.

    Think about it, I don’t agree with what you say, so I’ll burn down a couple of churches and 30 houses.

    Indefensible.

  19. avatar enigmatic says:

    a mob of about 300 burned down two churches and dozens of homes, both Christian and Muslim… AND

    The demonstrators initially marched to the regent’s office, and carried banners that read:

    Don’t destroy the peace with blind fanaticism

    OH THE IRONY!!

  20. avatar hary says:

    PKS representative inciting violence… And this forum asked whether they are Wahabbis???
    Even if she insulted the prophet, read Sura 2 Ayat 256.

  21. avatar ET says:

    Pn said

    I think the only solution is to depopulate Ambon- everyone must leave- refill it with Javanese and Sumateran-

    Send all the Ambonese to Holland or Irian.

    Why go through all the trouble PN? Just kill all those obsequious pest. After all your beloved military is already used to it and in the absence of a real enemy has nothing better to do than killing their fellow countryman, preferably far from Java.

  22. avatar David says:

    Some things moved to here.

    There was a third person arrested, Muhammad Botty Patty (28), and all three suspects were paraded by police at a press conference today to apologise to everyone for the trouble they had caused, but of course they’ll still be prosecuted…

  23. avatar diego says:

    The disgusting race javanese spread their shits all round indonesia, poor black-skinned of asia (ambonese / papuans), they have to eat all those shids.

  24. avatar Cukurungan says:

    The disgusting race javanese spread their shits all round indonesia, poor black-skinned of asia (ambonese / papuans), they have to eat all those shids.

    Do not be so upset because we are born to rule while our shits is so tender and delicious therefore everyone love it include your self

  25. avatar fullmoonflower says:

    Anyway, Mojopahit is Javanese…
    Nusantara was united by Javanese…

    Wong jowo pancen sakti hahaha 😆

  26. avatar Irene says:

    Send all the Ambonese to Holland or Irian.

    The disgusting race javanese spread their shits all round indonesia, poor black-skinned of asia (ambonese / papuans), they have to eat all those shids.

    Do not be so upset because we are born to rule while our shits is so tender and delicious therefore everyone love it include your self

    Anyway, Mojopahit is Javanese…
    Nusantara was united by Javanese…

    is this the outcome of a decade of ppKn, ips, and Muhammad Yamin’s historical fiction?

    and they still wonder why east timor left…

  27. avatar diego says:

    Irene, why are you hating Ppkn so much? Look what we get in return for getting rid of PPkn… islamist turds who want to overthrow pancasila. Btw, are you slanted eyes, or black-skinned, or malay, batak, dayak, balinese, minahasan/manadoense, or javanese/sundanese? If the answer is yes to any of that, poor you.

  28. avatar Cukurungan says:

    and they still wonder why east timor left…

    No one is crying for timor east because they were only a gravel in our shoes and we should thank to Australian who already help us to take it out.

    As we spoke, the Timor East are begging to us to give a chance for their countrymen to learn our wisdom in our university.

  29. avatar diego says:

    As we spoke, the Timor East are begging to us to give a chance for their countrymen to learn our wisdom in our university.

    That wisdom is depleted because of people like you with your arab / abrahamic filth, cuk.

  30. avatar Subrata says:

    @ Diego,

    Give it up already, here is what I say 2 u:

    Bese mi culo!! Bye-bye, adios, nunca verle otra vez!!

    Thanks for playing. 😀

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