Indonesian school children, Jakarta

Children are “likely” to have used notebooks with Islamic State (IS) propaganda on their covers and inside, reports Reuters.

Hundreds of the notebooks were seized during an investigation into the stabbing to death of a policeman in Medan, North Sumatra province on 25 June.

Children’s handwriting was found in some of the books, including notes about the solar system. Police say this could mean the books had been used by children to make notes in school.

A message at the top of each page read: “You are obliged to go to war”. Each had on its cover a quote attributed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, alongside his picture. “Tell all the apostates in the Muslim countries, these are their last days. And tell every infidel, we’re not playing anymore,” it read.

Police shot dead one suspect and arrested another man after the murder of their officer in Medan. They believe the men were part of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, an umbrella organisation on a U.S. State Department “terrorist” list: it supports IS and has hundreds of Indonesian followers. It is also feared that many Indonesians will soon return, battle-hardened, after supporting IS in Syria.

Meanwhile World Watch Monitor has heard from local sources that police are holding in custody a member of IS who was arrested in Papua province. It follows the stabbing on 30 June of two police officers while they were praying in a mosque.

Also Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, said today (10 July) “Islam in Indonesia has always been a force for moderation”, countering critics pointing to the mass rallies by radical Muslims and the two-year sentence given to Christian politician, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as ‘Ahok’, for blasphemy.

However, President Widodo’s youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, is to be summoned on an allegation of blasphemy: Indonesian police are investigating this after receiving a complaint about a video Pangarep uploaded to YouTube in May.

The video, entitled “Ask Daddy for a Project”- a reference to children of politicians who seek business favours, includes criticism of Indonesians who during recent sectarian tensions in the Muslim-majority nation declared they would refuse funeral rites for those who supported non-Muslims as leaders.