Indonesia: Muslim hardliners threaten Christmas revellers in East Java

The incident has triggered frenzy among people of Indonesia's second largest city

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

This year's Christmas did not go all well in Indonesia – the country with the highest Muslim population in Southeast Asian region. It was reported that on 25 December Muslim hardliners from Islamic Defenders Front took to the streets in Surabaya, the capital city of East Java, to make sure that no one following Islam were wearing Christmas-themed outfit including the popular red Santa hat.

This recent event has not only put Java police on high alert, as they fear that it might lead to clashes between people belong to two religions, but has also triggered frenzy among people in the country's second largest city. "The Islamists are pushing limits and making strides," said Rainer Heufers, official chief of the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, according to Lincoln Trail Publishing.

It was also reported that Muslim hardliners roamed around the streets and threatened shop keepers and revellers. However, there has not been any report of violence or injury as yet. Meanwhile, Indonesian National Police has launched a man hunt for the miscreants and said that they will not entertain such kinds of provocative acts.

Also read: Fed on Facebook and jihadism, Singapore maid becomes suicide bomber in Jakarta

Indonesia is anyway on high alert after repeated security threats recently. The capital city of Jakarta is boiling as Muslims are baying for blood of the city's Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama after he allegedly insulted Quran during a speech in September.

Also on 11 December, Indonesian counter-terrorism forces foiled a plot to bomb the state palace. The plot to carry out controlled detonation of a massive 3kg high-grade rice-cooker bomb, capable of causing mass destruction, was thwarted after a group of three people were detained in a crackdown on a dormitory in Bekasi.