Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Expat’s Home Stormed in Ramadan Riot on Lombok Fitri | September 07, 2010

Jakarta. A German man was the second foreigner to see his home destroyed in Lombok during the holy month after his complaints about damage to his property interrupted evening prayers.

Stephen Alexander, 35, who has lived on the resort island for 10 years, was “loudly” complaining outside the village chief’s home about the destruction of statues he kept in his yard, enciting about 200 residents from Lembah Sari, West Lombok, to ransack his villa and set fire to a motorcycle, said Mustan, a local.

“He barged into the village chief’s house, accusing residents of destroying his statues, and questioned what kind of Muslims we were,” Mustan said.

Alexander, who is also a Muslim, had been “warned” to remove the statues because they resembled Hindu deities.

Residents were reportedly angered by Alexander’s disruption of their prayers.

Soon after, the mob had grown to about 200 people, who then gathered outside his villa in the tourist district of Senggigi. Alexander managed to escape the rampage, but was later picked up by police.

It was unclear whether police had placed him in protective custody or detained him pending charges.

Hadli, the village chief, said Alexander’s asking “what kind of Muslims are your residents?” had sparked the mob’s violent reaction.

He added that the German had been impolite, “because he wasn’t wearing a shirt while he was complaining.”

But when talking to reporters at the police station, Alexander said he had never raised the issue of faith during the prayer session.

“I only asked about the two people who destroyed my statues,” he said.

“I know Islam. I did not bring a knife, I did not do anything. But why did 200 people destroy my house? It is Ramadan now, it is forbidden to be violent.”

West Lombok Police Chief Agus Supriyanto said officers were still investigating the case.

“What we have learned is that he approached the village chief’s house, yelling as if he was mocking the residents,” Agus said.

On Aug. 22, American expatriate Luke Gregory Lloyd was nearly mobbed by villagers in Central Lombok after he allegedly barged into a prayer session at a mosque with his shoes on, unplugged a microphone and may have even assaulted one of the worshipers.

Lloyd, who is facing six years in prison after police charged him with blaspheming Islam and immigration violations and whose home was also ransacked, denies wrongdoing in the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment