Tribal Group Fights Radical Islam in Unique Way

A group of angry indigenous people stopped a radical Islamist from deplaning on the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, reported AsiaNews.

The incident occurred at the Sintang airport when a group of tribal Dayak, dressed in traditional clothes including their traditional weapon, met the plane carrying Tengku Zulkarnain, the current deputy secretary general of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s leading Islamic clerical organization.

“As is often the case in Indonesia, meetings organized by radical Islamic leaders become a venue to stir up local Muslim communities and incite riots, violence, attacks or protests against other religions, ethnic groups or non-Muslim communities,” reported AsiaNews.

It was for this reason that the Dayak decided to act preemptively.

Tribal members were also furious at Zulkarnain who had previously described the tribe as “infidels.” The Dayak, who are said to place a high value on peace and harmony between Indonesia’s various ethnic groups and faiths, see Zulkarnain as part of a larger and growing problem of extremists in Indonesia who have been stirring up interracial controversy.

They cite the recent cases of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the governor of Jakarta who is Christian and who is now on trial for blasphemy.  Another case is that of a Catholic official in Bantul, who was forced out of his job as head of a large district because Islamist extremists refused to be governed by a Catholic.

After assessing the situation at the airport, Zulkarnain decided to stay on board, cancel his meetings and return on the same plane to Pontianak, from where his flight had originated.