View Full Version : Bloody hands, a shrine and the guardians
Like other teenagers in his neighborhood, 17-year-old Tanjung Priok resident Abiansyah “Abi” Pratama joined the army of Mbah Priok’s self-appointed memorial guardians in Koja, North Jakarta, read more (http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/04/16/bloody-hands-a-shrine-and-guardians.html)
Al Haddad’s alleged heirs, including Habib Salim bin Umar Al Athos, chairman of the Jakarta branch of the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI), have held regular events such as weekly Koran recitals and anniversary celebrations at the shrine to honor Mbah Priok’s role in spreading Islam in the area.
Says a lot for the education in this country:
“This site has been protecting us for hundreds of years,” Taslimah, a Cilincing resident and teacher at a local Islamic elementary school, said.
”If the site is insulted, or even removed, I believe that disasters like tsunamis or earthquakes would eventually hit us,” she said."
I love the constant references to 'alleged heirs'. According to the legend old Mbah Priok shed his mortal coil before even making landfall as his ship was wrecked. I'm not sure how he managed to leave a bloodline in the locale given that story, but as there is much money to be made there is no shortage of people claiming the Mbah as a forebear.
I think I will contrive a dodgy family tree leading back to Stamford Raffles and stake my claim on the Kebun Raya in Bogor.
According to the legend Mbah Priok left palembang at the age of 29, which means he could have a family back there. The heir did claim to come from Sumatera.
The thing is, the tomb does not look centuries old. Jakarta's governor Fauzi Bowo has an aerial photography of the site back in 1997 showing no structure. Since it is well known that the remains are no longer there, all this hubbub is caused by somebody's opportunism and incitement of the masses to protect it. Par for the course in Indonesia.
This reminds me of the Tanjung Priok incident in 1984. People were incited based on religious propaganda to besiege the local military district command post (Kodim) and police sector office (Polsek). The military back then didn't take crap from anybody, so when the crowd got nasty they (predictably) opened fire instead of letting the offices get trashed.
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