Old friend Arian Ardie pointed out on Facebook that an angry, mostly-Muslim crowd also protested in Jakarta a year ago today. That protest got far less media attention than the one spearheaded by the Front Pembela Islam (Islam Defenders Front) at the embassy on Monday. (I wrote a little bit about the FPI earlier this year). The same number of protesters, more or less, were involved in both, which both started at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, not far from the US embassy.
Given recent events I thought the Sept. 18, 2011 protest deserves a little more attention:
What riled those folks up? Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo said after two horrific gang rapes in the city that women wearing "provocative" clothing were partly responsible for the crimes. He soon apologized.
To be sure, the Islamist protest against the US, over a video clip put on YouTube by an anti-Islam activist, was far more raucous and potentially violent (I've put some footage of the protest -- teargas! shouting! great TV! -- below for comparison). And it certainly should have been reported in the context of a wave of protests across the globe prompted by the insulting YouTube video. But have a look at both protests, and remember that the "Muslim world" monolith is a fiction.