Monday, December 12

Yes, Virgina, There Are Moderate Muslims

This is good news:

Jakarta, December 9: Volunteers from Indonesia's largest Islamic organisation will guard churches across the world's most populous Muslim nation on Christmas amid fears of terrorist attacks on those places, the group said on Friday.

Jakarta police have said they would boost security in the capital ahead of Christmas to avoid a repeat of 2000 Christmas Eve bombings on churches in several Indonesian cities, including in the country's capital.

A youth wing affiliated with Indonesia's largest Muslim group Nahdlatul Ulama, some 40 million strong, said that members would guard churches for the coming Christmas festivities and it had persuaded youths from other religions to join the project.

"We have an annual programme to set up posts to secure Christmas. For this year, I have contacted groups from other religions like the Hindus and Buddhists and they have responded positively," said Tatang Hidayat, National Coordinator of NU's Banser group, known for its military-like uniform.

Hidayat said the volunteers would closely collaborate with existing police operations and the churches' own security.

If it is as reported, this is a very good thing.

In more encouraging news:

FALLUJA/RAMADI Iraq (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday's polls near, urging fellow Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al Qaeda militants not to attack. In a move unthinkable in the bloody run-up to the last election, guerrillas in the western insurgent heartland of Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Graffiti calling for holy war is now hard to find.

Instead, election campaign posters dominate buildings in the rebel strongholds of Ramadi and nearby Falluja, where Sunnis staged a boycott or were too scared to vote last time around.

"We want to see a nationalist government that will have a balance of interests. So our Sunni brothers will be safe when they vote," said Falluja resident Ali Mahmoud, a former army officer and rocket specialist under Saddam's Baath party.

"Sunnis should vote to make political gains. We have sent leaflets telling al Qaeda that they will face us if they attack voters."

And Howard the Dick, Mothra, and John Kerry say we are losing? Saddam Loyalists are more on the side of America in Iraq that the leadership of the Democratic Party. It is disgusting. When will the rank-and-file wake up?

Or does Howard Dean really represent the views of the rank-and-file Democrats? That is truly frightening to consider.

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