Street musician in Blimbing killed by hard-liner group

Posted by David Khoirul

Pembunuhan Blimbing TPI brondong pengamen FPI mushalla dibunuh matiMore than five people of an Islamic hard-liner group in the village of Blimbing killed a street musician after Tarawih prayer on August 27, exactly three days before Eid. Wartono, the group leader, along with other five members, beat the unidentified busker in Brondong, claiming that the musician had disturbed the ta'lim, a discussion he held in a mushalla or prayer house next to Tempat Pelelangan Ikan (TPI).

According to this group, Islam forbids music. So they felt uncomfortable when they performed tarawih prayer and the sound of the guitar outside continued. The busker was hit in the head, chest and stomach using wooden planks and stones.

A parking attendent -- identified as "S" -- who tried to calm down also got punched in the face. After the jama'ah left the busker, S helped bring him to the hospital before the doctor confirmed his death.

On Sunday night, August 28, S came to Wartono's house in Sremeng, a dusun (or sub-village) in Blimbing. S asked for his responsibility for the death of the young musician but Wartono ran away through the back door of his house, holding a kitchen knife. The parking attendant thought it was a thief and shouted "Maling!"

Hearing the shout, neighboring people came out and ran after Wartono, beating him to almost death. Wartono was brought to a hospital in Lamongan and -- lucky him -- he was alive.

Blimbing, a village with a population of more than 5000, is a home for many Islamic groups, including hard-liner Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which spread among young villagers. Its extreme teachings of Islam often lead them to violence and intolerance.

-- David Khoirul

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