US Ambassador keeps mum over anti-Islam movie
US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel kept his lips sealed over the meeting he attended at the House of Representatives on Monday.
Marciel refused to make any comment after the one-hour closed door meeting, which related to the distribution of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, with lawmakers and members of the House’s Commission VIII overseeing religion.
"It was not a questioning session, it was a dialogue. Have you talked to them [House members]?" US Embassy’s press attaché Troy Pederson said.
Lawmaker Noura Dian Hartarony from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) said that Marciel presented nothing new during the meeting.
"He did not respond to questions on how the US government will attempt to cut the negative impact of the movie, nationally as well as globally. He only told us that he would report the questions [raised] to the US authority in Washington,” she said.
A protest over the film in front of the US Embassy in Jakarta last week turned violent when protesters from several mass organizations, including the Islamic Society Forum (FUI) and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), threw stones at the police deployed to safeguard the embassy.
Police detained five out of 1,000 protesters for possession of Molotov cocktails and slingshots with glass marbles. They were released one day after the demonstration.
US representative offices throughout the country were closed temporarily on Friday, following concerns over more rallies in response to the film. (lfr)
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.