By: Agence France-Presse
Indonesian maids working in Hong Kong are being radicalized by extremists from the Islamic State group, a safety think-tank stated in a report Wednesday.
Around 150,000 of the town’s military of home helpers are from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Against a backdrop of rising non secular conservatism at dwelling, a small variety of militant maids has emerged, based on a report from the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).
But rights activists and the Indonesian Muslim neighborhood in Hong Kong stated they had been unaware of radicals and worry that reported hyperlinks with IS would breed unfair suspicion.
The IPAC investigation described a “radical fringe” of round 45 Indonesian home helpers, who might have been drawn to militant circles by “the search for a sense of community in an unfamiliar environment.”
“Some of these women were drawn by jihadi boyfriends they met online,” says IPAC analyst Nava Nuraniyah. “But some joined ISIS as a path to empowerment.”
A string of abuse circumstances has highlighted the exploitation of maids in Hong Kong by unscrupulous employment businesses which confiscate their passports, declare their wages and preserve them in the darkish about their rights.
But the IPAC report stated ill-treatment didn’t appear to have performed a direct function in radicalisation, though it had led to the institution of an Islamic advocacy group to behave as a type of union.
The battle in Syria has fuelled curiosity in militant teams as jihadi social media stoked sympathy for Sunni victims, the report stated.
It advised the story of 1 girl who turned to radicalism after years of turmoil in her private life and have become a key participant in serving to Indonesian jihadis get to Syria, generally through Hong Kong.
A handful of maids ended up going to Syria themselves, stated IPAC, a number one think-tank which has printed quite a few reviews on conflicts in Southeast Asia.
– Rising ‘Islamisation’ at dwelling –
Hong Kong media has beforehand reported about IS supporters leafleting Indonesian home helpers as they gathered in public areas throughout the town on Sundays, their break day.
One closely pregnant maid who went missing in 2015 was stated to have advised associates she was planning to hyperlink up with Islamic State militants in Syria alongside her husband, based on the South China Morning Post.
The Indonesian neighborhood in Hong Kong has tripled in the previous 17 years because of the demand for home helpers, and non secular instructing and prayer teams have grown alongside it.
But Indonesian migrant rights activist and former home helper Eni Lestari stated whereas the specter of extremism was all the time a risk, she was unaware of IS supporters amongst them.
“We are Muslim by religion and we organise a lot of Muslim activities… we don’t do radicalisation,” Lestari advised AFP.
“I think it’s really unfair for the Indonesian domestic worker community to be labelled.”
Prayer teams and visits from clerics have grow to be extra frequent in Hong Kong as a consequence of rising “Islamisation” in Indonesia, which has additionally seen extra ladies carrying veils, Lestari stated.
But helpers had been now fearful about organising non secular occasions as police recurrently query them, she added.
Domestic helper Romlah Rosyidah, chairwoman of the Indonesian Migrant Muslim Alliance in Hong Kong, stated she apprehensive in regards to the affect reported IS hyperlinks would have.
Her employer had lately requested her if she knew in regards to the radical group, she advised AFP.
Police additionally got here to look at actions held by members of her group, which embody instructing the way to pray and browse the Koran, she stated.
“Islam is not extreme,” she added, saying she didn’t know any IS supporters.
Indonesia has lengthy struggled with Islamic militancy and lots of of radicals from the Southeast Asian state have flocked to struggle with IS.(AFP)