Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s gift of $500m to build 2,000 Islamic “madrassahs” in Indonesia, the World’s largest Islamic nation, may prove to be retrogressive.

Indonesia’s Islamic schools have produced terrorists, most notably at cleric Abu Bakar Bashir’s school in Ngruki, central Java, where some of the Bali bombers studied.

Ms Gillard’s announcement, late last year, gains significance in the context of recent Islamic history.

Local journalist, Edward Lee, said, “In Bambang Yudhoyono's Indonesia there is great persecution of Christians. Over 1700 churches and church schools have been destroyed and burned during the past 15 years, including bibles, hymnbooks and furniture. Pastors and their families have been killed.”

Edward Lee went on to say, “Faisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam of the Proposed Islamic Center and Mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan New York, is talking about a ‘Faith Partnership’.

“Muslims only use this kind of vocabulary when they are in a minority. I have served in Indonesia for 50 years and never have I heard any Muslim Imam talk of a ‘Faith Partnership’ with other religions.

“Once Muslims become a majority the persecution and discrimination toward non-Muslims becomes rampant and directed at every level in society.”

It seems the better educated Muslim that Ms Gillard dreams of may result in smarter, more intelligent persecution against  Christian minorities.

Perhaps that’s okay if you are an atheist. But hang on… I’m an atheist and I don’t think it’s okay.

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