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Bali anniversary focus on anti-terrorism education

On the eve of Sunday's Bali Boming anniversary, Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has welcomed plans by the US and Australian Governments to provide funds for government schools in Indonesia as a way to address the causes of terrorism.

The United States is considering a plan to provide $250 million to Indonesia to support government schools so that rural youths are less likely to attend Islamic boarding schools funded by anti-Western, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian groups in Saudi Arabia.

The Australian Government is also considering a $12 million boost to the schools funding it already provides Indonesia.

Commission Executive Officer Peter Arndt said the Australian community should be encouraging the Australian Government to concentrate on such measures to minimise the influence of extremist elements in our region.

"It is appropriate that we remember the 202 people who lost their lives in Bali a year ago, the many people who are still trying to adjust to disabilities caused by the bombing, and the many family members and friends who are still grieving loved ones," Mr Arndt said.

"But we also need to take steps which help to reduce the possibility of more terrorist attacks and the growing influence of extremist ideologies which can result in terrorist activity."

"It is only in the last two decades that extremist ideas have found their way into some groups within Islam in Indonesia," he said. "The vast majority of Muslims in Indonesia are moderate and would view the killing at Bali a year ago with horror as it is as much an abomination to Islam as it is to Christianity."

Mr Arndt said that Indonesians must remain in charge of their affairs.

"Whatever Australia and the USA do, it must be in partnership with the Indonesians rather than being imposed," he said.

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Brisbane | Bali Bombing: Teaching Resources
Bali memorial a 'balance' of beliefs (
Australians honour Bali bomb victims
Archbishop Carroll Bali Statement: Catholics Support Victims of Bali Attack (14th October 2002)
George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney: Exoneration (Sunday Telegraph - 20 October 2002)
Bali, the crucifix and the purpose of prayer
Cathedral shrine for Bali victims
Faith leaders respond to Bali bombings (Insights)
Honours list to mark Bali anniversary (ABC)
Caritas Australia calls for international response to Bali bombing
Adelaide Archbishop encourages 'proper' response to Bali tragedy (CathNews)

10 Oct 2003