Ah, Indonesia. One of those “responsible Muslim governments” whom deceased U.S. senator Tom Lantos last year called upon to take note of the fact that the U.S. is creating Muslim states in Europe. Indonesia is also the Muslim country most frequently cited by dhimmis — pointing out that it’s the most populous Muslim country — when trying to illustrate that “they’re not all like that.” Part of making them “all like that” is empowering the radicals as “moderates” at the expense of the true moderates — a practice that the West is as guilty of as the Muslim world (see America in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran and Palestine). Note also the absence of any outcry by organized Islam or its leftwing minions in the West when the radical “moderates” are bullying the moderates.

Building on my recent Indonesia blog, here is the Wall St. Journal (Asian edition, since the U.S. edition doesn’t like to say unfriendly things about the Muslim world), from earlier this month:

Muslim and Indonesian

If the war on terror teaches anything, it’s that radical Islam cannot tolerate religious pluralism. So it’s worrying, and dangerous, to see the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, Indonesia, restrict a moderate religious group at the behest of a radical fringe. This is no way for a democracy to behave.

The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Monday ordered “all Ahmadiyah followers to stop their activities” or face jail. The Ahmadiyah is a small Muslim sect concentrated mostly in South Asia, with about 200,000 adherents in Indonesia. Its followers revere the Quran and have formally renounced the idea of violent jihad. They respect interfaith dialogues.

By restricting the Ahmadiyah, the President isn’t acting in accordance with the country’s constitution, which guarantees “all persons the right to worship according to their own religion or belief.” Instead, he’s kowtowing to the thuggish Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which beat up a peaceful gathering of religious moderates in Jakarta last week and called for the Ahmadiyah to be banned.

The President’s refusal to stand up for the Ahmadiyah is part of a pattern. In 2005, the Council of Indonesian Ulama issued a fatwa banning the Ahmadiyah as a “heretical sect” because the group recognizes its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to be a prophet like Mohamed. The President’s office said nothing. In recent years Ahmadiyah mosques have been forced to close by angry mobs. Again, the President’s office was silent. Last year, a few local governments banned the faith. Once more, no word from Jakarta.

Last week the President waited 48 hours before ordering the arrests of the FPI members who led the violence in central Jakarta – until after local media exploded in outrage. The police chief explained that arresting the FPI members immediately would only have “triggered bigger riots.” Which tells you something about Jakarta’s resolve to enforce its own laws. [Incidentally, Bosnia is going through precisely this process: local outrage at the radicals taking over and the government’s unwillingness to do anything about it.]

Mr. Yudhoyono’s decree increases the danger for Ahmadiyah members, who now have had targets painted on their chests. It’s also dangerous for any other religious minorities to whom the FPI or other radical Islamists object. They have done so in the past. From 1999 to 2002, to take one example, Muslim extremists carried out execution-style killings of more than a thousand Christians in Poso on Sulawesi Island.

…Violence against Christians is also starting to percolate in conservative Muslim areas, like West Java.

It is unclear how local governments will interpret the President’s edict. Will Ahmadiyah mosques be shuttered? Will members be allowed to worship in their homes? The government already has had to dispatch police around the country to protect Ahmadiyah worshippers. Where will it end?…Anything but full religious freedom is a betrayal of Indonesia’s pluralism and a dangerous precedent for the country’s future.