Kampung Pulo, Pinang Ranti

Aug 1st, 2008, in News, by

Church burningA violent neighbourhood dispute over a Christian theological college in East Jakarta.

The dispute over the 19 year-old Arastamar Evangelical School of Theology (Kampus Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Injil Arastamar, SETIA) in the Kampung Pulo, Pinang Ranti, Makassar, East Jakarta area flared up again with on July 25th a violent fight breaking out between local Muslim residents and Christian students of the college.

As a result of the brawl and consequent ill-feeling most of the staff and students of Setia have been evacuated and currently about 470 of them are camping out at the national parliament building, DPR/MPR, at the badminton courts at the back of the building.


Evacuation of students under police guard.

Bayu Kusuma of SETIA says the school authorities refuse to relocate the campus, that they own the land and have the proper permission to use it as theological seminary. kompas

Setia
Arastamar School of Theology.

On the other side, Risman Hadi, a representative of local people, says the school must move because residents are annoyed that student numbers keep growing year after year. There are currently 1600 enrolled students at the college. He says the issue has nothing to do with SARA, or sectarian/ethnic conflict. kompas

Sukowaluyo Mintorahardjo of SETIA agreed that religious feeling played no role and suggests that the root of the conflict lays in business interests wanting to see the school gone, so as to allow for profitable development of the land. detik


67 Comments on “Kampung Pulo, Pinang Ranti”

  1. Ari says:

    There is an interesting blog post by a local Kampung Pulo resident which attempts to explain the other side of the story. Please read it before making comments demonifying the local residents.
    http://muharis.multiply.com/journal/item/60/Kampung_Pulo_ku_Kini

  2. kau dan selingkuhanmu says:

    Hahaha… if we change the building of SETIA college into a mosque, the local muslim residents would definitely agree for it.

    Violent indeed.

  3. dadong L says:

    Dear Ari,
    I opened the post, but it is in Indonesian. You think you could translate it? Or give a summary of the contents in English? I think it is extremely important to know what exactly is going on.
    Perhaps Sukowaluyo Mintorahardjo is right and it is indeed about the property rather than about religion. Of course there might also be political reasons for him to not want to admit openly to religious problems.
    These days many Christians overreact to Muslims who try to spread their faith. Christians used to try and convert people themselves, in many ways, not always very pleasant, especially in colonial days.
    So let us all try to get the WHOLE truth- then you can fight the really bad parts and not automatically ‘demonise’ the people on the other side.

  4. Bukakelambu says:

    This incident is kind of inevitable in a crowded city like Jakarta with its mostly uneducated denizens split between Christians and Muslims.

    In a lawful country those people can just ring the police and problem solved, but not in Indonesia apparently.

    So yeah people should get smarter, or more educated at least, and improve their standards of living and give up religion altogether. But for now, not much can be done. The hot weather is not helping either.

  5. Nad says:

    @ dadong L and others, I read the blog post recommended by Ari and I´ll try to give a brief summary of it. It’s written by a young man who’s home is Kampung Palo and who still lives close by.

    Well basically he desribes the incidents that led up to the turmoil in first place, and what happened from the perspective of the inhabitants of Kampung Palo

    Apparently, in the night of July 25th, at about 11pm, a burglar was caught by one of Kampug Pulo’s inhabitants. This was close to one of the dormitories of SETIA college. The burglar was punished by Kampung Palo inhabitants with ‘hukum adat’, a.k.a. street jutsice if you will, meaning he probably got beaten up. He was then turned over to the RW of the area and the police. There it was found out that the burglar was one of SETIA’s students.

    This incident of course was not received well amongst students of SETIA college. They claimed the ‘burglar’ had actually tried to reclaim a lost sandal and had not intended to steal anything. Enraged, students of SETIA started throwing stones down on the houses of some Kampung Palo inhabitants from their multi-storey dormitories. When the police and RW came and tried to encourage a dialogue, the situation escalated even more. (The blog author claims SETIA students attacked Kampug Palo inhabitants with arrows!)

    The turmoil died down late that night and it was quiet during the day. But the next night, SETIA students, still emotionally charged, (they had probably misunderstood the beating up of one of their fellows as an act of violence against their faith? (my interpretation)) started attacking a nearby mosque with stones and bricks. Now this, the attack of a mosque, lead to the mobilization of every child and drunk in the area. In this rioting the police intervened and used tear gas to disperse the crowd and later, the evacuation of the SETIA campus.

    So far, so good. I myself am not so sure how to deal with this information. The SETIA students are portrayed as rowdy and extremely aggresive. The blog author also cannot stop himself from hinting at ‘immoral behavior’ like condoms found in a park near campus, students wandering freely between boy’s and girl’s domitories etc.

    Sadly, I think this incident shows that small conflicts can quickly explode in this way. It seems that religious resentiments are strong and are ‘pulled out of the hat’ whenever any form of tension accurs. If what the blog author writes did happen in this way, I’m kind of sad that students (!) of any college, at that, lack the sensibility and broadness of mind to avoid religiously charged conflict, instead even sparking such conflict.

  6. DXP says:

    DXP feel deeply sad, in China, we are 2 Billion society never attack the only 8 million muslim minority population. Why Indonesia with only 265 milion society interfere too much and suppress the 20 milion christian minority ? You guys will never be prosperous like China if diversity is the source of daily conflict.

    In summary : SAD and STUPID acts

  7. Pakmantri says:

    @ DXP,

    In China, they don’t have to, the government will do that for them. Remember “Falun Gong”.
    Indonesian govt. is following China by banning Ahmadiya.

    Sorry, cannot help it. 😀

    Peace.

  8. Sylvester says:

    It is a combination of economic and religious problems. Moslems always suspicious by the growing number of Christians and tend to be violent. On the other hand, some Christians are too agressive in preaching.
    DXP, China indeed is getting prosperous. Although most Chinese are satisfied with their government, the freedom and human rights still need more improvement.

    Pakmantri, Indonesian govt should follow China on many other aspects such as economic reform, discipline, moral integrity, education, military power, and sports.

  9. Pakmantri says:

    Indonesian govt should follow China on many other aspects such as economic reform, discipline, moral integrity, education, military power, and sports.

    Indeed they should. Most of all eradicate corruptions on all level!

    What I was trying to say was, self loathing and finger pointing will lead us nowhere!

    Peace.

  10. tomaculum says:

    Some citates from those blog:
    Setelah diselesaikan secara ‘hukum adat’ maling tersebut diserahkan ke Pak RW dan kepolisian. Dan setelah diidentifikasi, ternyata pelaku adalah anak mahasiswa SETIA.
    Saya fikir ‘hukum adat’ ini berlaku dimanapun juga, siapapun, dan dimanapun.(Walaupun saya tidak menganjurkan cara-cara seperti ini, Ssst, tapi saya mendukung ) Artinya mau mahasiswa kek, mau copet kek tetep aja di Bogem. Mau di terminal kek, mau di kampung kek, yah kena ‘pelajaran’ yang satu ini.

    “hukum adat” means in this case: Lynch justice? Wow!!

    Udah jauh2 merantau (baca:menjajah) ke kampung orang, makan malam pun masih harus berburu tikus got. Kasian amat yah..
    No, comment.

    Recommended? For what? For the truth or for the neutrality?
    In this blog I just read hate and anger. Sad.

  11. kau dan selingkuhanmu says:

    what tomaculum said was right.. i also feel that the recommended blog by ari, was only talking about the hatred of local people there. We should also hear the opinion from setia college too. they even called setia college student as “mahasiswa sial” hmm.. we can see how much they hate these setia college

  12. djoko says:

    Recommended? For what? For the truth or for the neutrality?

    Perhaps you need to re-read Ari’s original comment which quite clearly said it was to present the other side of the story. Not about truth or neutrality at all, as these often lie somewhere in between the accounts from both sides.

    In this blog I just read hate and anger. Sad.

    I think tomaculum missed some of the most interesting parts regarding hatred and anger in that blog. Most notably:

    1. The bits about SETIA students pelting peoples homes and the eventually the local mosque with rocks, resulting in some people being injured. One can only imagine the outpouring of sheer rage and ‘well thats Islam for you’ this would have generated from comments here if Muslims were pelting a church with rocks (see any of the news pieces on churches being attacked on this website).

    2. These students actually went to the trouble to make arrows and fire them at people. Extra curricula arts and craft at the school perhaps?

    3. The lovliest imagery from the whole thing was the bit about some SETIA students hanging back and making the old ‘we’ll slit your throat’ sign. Once again just what were these students being taught?? Tinggal Asrama putra, yang masih keukeuh, gak mau di evakuasi.
    Malah mereka menantang, dengan mengacungkan jari mereka dan meledek kami dengan seolah2 mereka ingin menggorok kami.

    You’re right tomaculum, there was an awful lot of hatred in that blog, I’m just not sure if you found the most obvious bits of it.

  13. tomaculum says:

    I don’t think I missedsome of the most interesting parts. I see hatred and anger from both sides. But in this blog I read hate and anger from the blog owner. 🙁

  14. PrimaryDrive says:

    Sigh … what a mess.

    tomaculum/selingkuhanmu: I read hate and anger …

    Hmm… are you two read Indonesian fluently? Yes, there is anger in that blog, but not the kind of anger as you seem to suggest. Who wouldn’t be angry if your home are thrown with bricks?? The author even downplayed the SARA aspect btw.

    If it goes as he wrote, SETIA college can just as well start looking a new location, because now the authority has a very valid reason to revoke its permit: causing public disorder.

    It’s also a disgrace for a school bearing the name “Evangelical School of Theology” to be involved in such a brawl. Such a school is supposed to set good examples for community, or else use another name. “School of Experimental Theology” should be ok.

  15. kau dan selingkuhanmu says:

    I can’t read indonesian fluently 😉
    what does “si mahasiswa sial” mean, btw ?

  16. kiwibali says:

    DXP feel deeply sad, in China, we are 2 Billion society never attack the only 8 million muslim minority population. Why Indonesia with only 265 milion society interfere too much and suppress the 20 milion christian minority ? You guys will never be prosperous like China if diversity is the source of daily conflict.

    In summary : SAD and STUPID acts

    one word…. Xinjiang.

  17. Pakmantri says:

    what does “si mahasiswa sial” mean, btw ?

    It mean, ” the unfortunate student”. 🙂

    Peace.

  18. tomaculum says:

    PrimaryDrive,
    I’m sure that you, like me, read Indonesian fluently. But the problem wasn’t only the briggs.
    Read again f.e. this:
    “Udah jauh2 merantau (baca:menjajah) ke kampung orang, makan malam pun masih harus berburu tikus got. Kasian amat yah.. ”
    (as I’m sure you read Indonesiant fluently, I don’t need to translate this sentence.)
    Let us be honest: the problem is a christian school in a majority islam kampung.
    Please try to read the blog neutraly, emotionless and carefully.

  19. dewaratugedeanom says:

    djoko said

    2. These students actually went to the trouble to make arrows and fire them at people. Extra curricula arts and craft at the school perhaps?

    At least it weren’t bombs.

  20. kau dan selingkuhanmu says:

    It mean, ” the unfortunate student “.

    oh i see.. “unfortunate student” then, SETIA college student are really so unfortunate to have to live with unfriendly local kampung residents there. Instead of saying “mahasiswa kurang beruntung” the blog’s owner simply choose to say “mahasiswa2 sial” hmm.. they’re so polite(or the contrary ?)

  21. PrimaryDrive says:

    tomaculum: Please try to read the blog neutraly, emotionless and carefully.

    I AM neutral. And I’m not a moslem btw, if that what you suggest.

    “Udah jauh2 merantau (baca:menjajah) ke kampung orang, makan malam pun masih harus berburu tikus got. Kasian amat yah.. ”

    Well … nothing here radiates hatred. The tone is only “very annoyed” or “mildly angry”, and the last sentence further downtones the high tone of the preceeding sentence.

    The setup painted in that blog in a very typical territorial tension situation. You have similar tension between for example certain rival high schools, or rival Kampung gangs. In my time I saw fellow students mob down students from rival school. It was a gruesome sight. If they can blog the events, they would probably blog them in similar langauge.

    Folks in Jakarta are very teritorial. Sigh… that’s just how mature we are there. So, I would attribute this SETIA incident as mostly a teritorial issue.

    Instead of saying “mahasiswa kurang beruntung” the blog’s owner simply choose to say “mahasiswa2 sial” hmm.. they’re so polite(or the contrary ?)

    Yes, the author is on the polite side. If he wants to express hatred, he would use perhaps “masiswa bangsat” … or worse.

  22. kau dan selingkuhanmu says:

    Don’t pull my leg.. Primarydrive 🙂
    so u mean “mahasiswa sial” was a polite sentence ? then can i say something like this ?
    Unfortunate children = anak2 sial
    unfortunate family = keluarga sial ?, etc

    u are certainly on the local residents side. would you call your unfortunate friends as “teman2 sial” ? well at least the author didn’t say “mahasiswa sial-an) LOL..

    “mahasiswa bangsat” or even worse ? then they can choose to say “mahasiswa kafir” haha.. Just my personal thought 🙂

  23. Rambutan says:

    There is obviously more behind this whole incident. A large number of locals seems to be annoyed that Christians built a campus in THEIR kampung. And they even dare to hold religious services on Sunday. The actual catalyst for the violence might have been theft as described on the blog but tensions were already high. So it seems to be a territorial thing (as said before) but I believe you cannot separate the issue from Muslim-Christian tensions.

    Now, I’m sure the locals have reason to complain. I don’t doubt that some of the students behave badly and even might hire preman Ambon to defend the campus. But it’s obviously more than just that and, sadly, there seems to be an added dimension of SARA.

  24. PrimaryDrive says:

    Rambutan: but I believe you cannot separate the issue from Muslim-Christian tensions.

    Well, that’s true. In traditionals ‘kampungs’, it is to be expected that locals will be irked by a church or a christian school erected in the middle of their ‘zone’. I come from a kampung, and I’m not a moslem, so I know how it is.

    Such intolerance is really regretful, but for their part (some groups in) christians also make little effort to respect locals (moslems). Even if you somehow can get the permit for the building, by simply dismissing the general feeling of locals they obviously invite problems. The typical excuse is “we have the right to pray/school/etc”. While the answer to that is indeed a “yes”, this IMHO goes against the very principle of christianity, where people is supposed to work out peaceful solutions.

    Rambutan: there seems to be an added dimension of SARA.

    Muhari’s blog does even suggest other ‘agents’ being in the play. Things like the “arrows” and “50-60 orang berperawakan hitam, dan kriting” suggest possible deliberation and external involvement. But that may be just the author’s exageration.

    selingkuhanmu:

    Don’t pull my leg.. Primarydrive
    so u mean “mahasiswa sial” was a polite sentence ? then can i say something like this ?
    Unfortunate children = anak2 sial
    unfortunate family = keluarga sial ?, etc

    I didn’t say “it was polite”. I said “it was on the polite side” 😛

    It does not really translate to “unfortunate” when used like above. I think “spiteful” would be a better translating; so it is also mildly cursing. If you say it on the street, people will probably shout you back, but they won’t stone you outright. Whereas the other term is definitely inviting for the second.

  25. springlife says:

    I read this blog with interest and “heavy burden”. Sad to say that Indonesia is still far far away from being a racial/religion harmonious and lawful society.
    If we as the common citizens can’t resolve the “robbery” problems amicably as faced by the school and local Kampong Pulo residents, how are we as citizens going to fight the more problematic corruptible officers of the country who are actually the real “big robbers” of this nation?
    May the residents and students forgive and accept each other’s mistake. In any situation, having a cool and sound mind coupled with good wisdom will be a great help to solve any misunderstandings or wrongdoings of anyone(s). Hati boleh panas tapi kepala harus dingin ya? My wish is that this country will “stay cool” and advance one more step towards democracy.
    May all residents regardless of religions, racials and languages be good neighbours and let us start from ourselves. I hope this comment brings hope and increases our faith to do goods to those who do evils. Sincere action of love and care speaks volumes than hundred of hatred words going around that do not edify anyone at all. Thank u.

  26. Rambutan says:

    Such intolerance is really regretful, but for their part (some groups in) christians also make little effort to respect locals (moslems). Even if you somehow can get the permit for the building, by simply dismissing the general feeling of locals they obviously invite problems. The typical excuse is “we have the right to pray/school/etc”. While the answer to that is indeed a “yes”, this IMHO goes against the very principle of christianity, where people is supposed to work out peaceful solutions.

    Well, if they are just praying, there is nothing wrong. I don’t see how this goes against Christian principles. What do you mean by peaceful solution? Should SETIA close teh school and leave the kampung? Where should they go? Where would they get a permit to build a large Christian campus? Certainly not in Tangerang. Maybe we should introduce strictly mono-religious kampungs?

    It’s remarkable that SETIA exists since the early 90s but serious conflict only broke out recently. Is this the result of the organised campaign by radicals in Jakarta and West Java, agitating against churches and Christians?

    And it’s interesting that certain Muslim groups only seem to have problems with Christian institutions, while they don’t seem to care about the presence of other religions. Fears of proselytizing? General uneasiness about Christianity?

    To be fair, we can see similar developments in other parts of Indonesia, where local communities feel uneasy about the increasing number of Muslims and mosques (Papua, Bali).

    To conclude, it seems that Indonesia’s much-touted tolerance and harmony are more wishful thinking than reality.

  27. PrimaryDrive says:

    Rambutan:
    What do you mean by peaceful solution? Should SETIA close teh school and leave the kampung? Where should they go?

    In the spirit of christianity, the answer is yes. Christianity is about understanding Jesus’ teaching and wisdom; it nevers require you to build a christian school. Not even a chruch. The last two are more human social, emotional, and perhaps also practical need.

    To conclude, it seems that Indonesia’s much-touted tolerance and harmony are more wishful thinking than reality.

    I’m afraid you’re right. Tolerance is a virtue of a developed culture. Obviously, we still have far to go. Also, who really said that Indonesians are tolerant and harmonious?? As far as I remember, these are values taught to us in PMP books, for years and years. We learned those values and took them for granted; never questioning what, how, and why. We can blame ourselves for this part of naivety.

  28. Cukurungan says:

    DXP feel deeply sad, in China, we are 2 Billion society never attack the only 8 million muslim minority population.

    Because 2 billion China is still busy for hunting and slaughtering the peaceful hundred thousand of Tibetans

  29. DXP says:

    Tibet is similar to East Timor and Aceh and RMS coming soon to declare independence after thousand of muslim – christian tension everyplace in Indon.
    At least, if you want to build a new mosque in XinJiang, there is no need to get the neighborhood’s signature from house to house … and DXP represents China never blast any single bomb to the minority XinJiang.
    But yesterday, Xinjiang terrorist start blasting 2 grenades to our policeman, so DXP will put law in order … don’t worry, our principle is peace but with some threshold limit

  30. raden says:

    how about the twice grenades blast in XinYang who killed 16 policemen in duty ? ironically in China, the minority who dare to shake the peace in their way to create China Islamic state ? pak Raden is a muslimin tapi jadi bingung sendiri … yang mana yg betul ya ?

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