When disaster hits, Indonesia’s Islamists are first to help

2000 (4)Source: Associated Press

By STEPHEN WRIGHT

PALU, Indonesia (AP) — The two flags hanging outside Anwar Ragaua’s house have gotten him police warnings but the wiry 50-year-old vows he’s not taking them down.

After all, the police weren’t there to help when he was the only fisherman in his village to survive the tsunami that crashed into the Indonesian city of Palu on Sept. 28. Nor was the government. Nor were the aid organizations that swept into the stricken city.

Instead, when Ragaua felt abandoned, the people to offer him a glimmer of hope — a new boat — were from the Islamic Defenders Front, a group with a notorious past that’s included smashing up stores selling alcohol and attacking minority Muslim sects.

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Categories: Asia, Disaster, Indonesia, Islamists

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