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Ring of Fire: From Krakatoa to a Country Near You

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On Tuesday, October 2, 1883, a Dutch soldier in the port town of Banten, Indonesia, was carrying out rescue and recovery operations in the wake of the Krakatoa eruption. Suddenly, a bearded man dressed in white and carrying a curved dagger jumped him from behind, and began stabbing the soldier repeatedly.

And thus, says Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa, the Day the World Exploded, began the Islamic rebellion against the Dutch colonialists who had commercialized Indonesia, eventually turning the country into the world’s largest Muslim country – 231,000,000 and growing rapidly. Winchester’s book makes the claim that the Krakatoa eruption was not just a geophysical event, but also a geopolitical one.

Indonesia has generally been considered a “moderate” Muslim country – its roots in Javanese mysticism have historically leavened the harshness of Islam’s Arab origins. In the 1980s and 1990s, Jakarta was a booming international city where Western business flourished and was encouraged – American businessmen swarmed over the capitol city to establish new manufacturing sites for their products. But the business climate has dramatically changed, with the Bali bombings, the ongoing Islamic militant uprisings throughout the archipelago, and the policies of the former Megawati administration.

The conflicts within Indonesia are symptomatic of a wider Ring of Fire between Islamic and non-Muslim countries, reaching from the Philippines, through Thailand, China, India, the Caucuses, the Balkans, Greater Europe, Spain, down through Sudan, Nigeria, Namibia, and the entire continent of Africa. The inability of assimilation or peaceful co-existence between these two cultures is the central thesis of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations.

These external conflicts are also a manifestation of the internal civil war between Islamic radicals and non-militants, where this fault line is growing.

In geology, the Ring of Fire refers to the clashing of tectonic plates and their resultant volcanic activity. We’re witnessing another Ring of Fire, as unpredictable and potentially as lethal as the Krakatoa eruption.


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About Spear Shaker

  • RJ

    I like this post. Good job! 🙂

  • SFC Ski

    Not a lot to argue with here.

    I had hoped the Indonesian Muslims might be able to pull away from the extremism of their Arab brethren, but it looks like it will be a struggle here as well.

  • hya a hink this page has sum gd info on it and it has helped me wif ma project 4 geography 🙂 thanx xxxxx|chloe|xxxxxx

  • Research a bit more

    This is dumbest thing ever, the way they refer to a religion’s status depending on the region it comes from well my freind even christianity and Judaism come from the middle east, its not just Islam, you guys should get deeper into this before commenting, becasue you look rather stupid. And the fact when they cover Islam as being evil is also stupid there are over 1.5 billion muslims around the world coming from different backgrounds and to note that only 20% of these muslims are Arab’s; the rest come from all over the world, one should look at issues like this one from many angles, not just a racist mindset open your minds and then wonder why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

  • Ruvy in Jeruslem

    Research a bit more:

    I think you arrived a little late for the party. Shaking Spears evidently put the stick down. The last entry on his blog-site in over a year old. This was his last article here (so far).

    Go check his blog site, leave your comment there, and see if you get a response…