No Peppa Pig at this kinder

Caption: Aww, they blow up so fast. Muslim toddlers parade as miniature jihadis, in Indonesia

For kids in the West, kinder is mostly about games, finger-painting and storytime. But at a kindergarten in the world?s largest Islamic nation, it seems the kids are taught less Peppa Pig and more Jalil Jihad. Quote:

A kindergarten located within an Indonesian military housing complex has been forced to apologise after dressing its preschoolers in ISIS-style black uniforms and cut-out guns for the local Independence Day parade. End quote.

But even the excuse should raise eyebrows. Quote:

Hartatik, the head of the TK Kartika kindergarten in Probolinggo City, East Java, said the kindergarten had no intention of promoting radicalism and had simply drawn upon the costumes it had available for the parade. End of quote.

Which begs the question: why did the kindergarten just happen to have jihadi outfits and cutout guns lurking in the dress-ups cupboard? Quote:

Ms Hartatik said her kindergarten had chosen as their parade theme ?the struggle of the Prophet to increase faith and devotion to Allah?, and had used the same costumes their students wore in last year?s parade in order to save money?We reused the same props to save money,? she said, adding that parents had agreed to the ?costumes. End of quote.

So, this isn?t the first time the kiddies have held their little Junior Jihadi parades. Nor did their parents apparently mind that their tots were play-acting as murderous religious fanatics.

But the furore holds wider significance in the largest Islamic nation in the world. Indonesia has long been touted as one of the leading progressive lights in Islam. But that star is fading fast, as the country slides deeper into the familiar, repressive brutality of Islamic fundamentalism. Provinces like Aceh have seen a rash of public canings of ?adulterers? and homosexuals. Ostentatious religious posturing has become, as one Indonesian journalist puts it, ?an obligatory ingredient that candidates [flaunt] shamelessly?. Quote:

Photographs of the children parading with their faces partially covered in black veils and holding what appeared to be cutout replicas of AK47s caused a ?social media furore, however, after the ?photos were uploaded on the BBC Indonesia website.

The incident is a huge embarrassment as ?Indonesia hosts more than 15,000 athletes participating in the Asian Games and as many as 150,000 supporters and spectators from across Asia?

?the Independence Day ?furore has again highlighted a growing seam of religious conservatism in the world?s most populous Muslim nation. End of quote.

One can?t help but be suspicious that the ?social media furore? is more a confected exercise in saving face while Indonesia hosts the Asian Games than a sincere expression of revolt against the spread of fundamentalist Islam. Quote:

Ms Hartatik said she had also sought permission from the military command, which Lieutenant Colonel Depri Rio Saransi confirmed yesterday, saying he had agreed because he had thought it would ?promote Islamic values?. End of quote.

Which is probably truer than he intends it to be.

There is a disturbing trend of Islamic fundamentalism inculcating violence and hatred in its children from practically the moment they can walk and talk. Parents proudly video their toddlers slashing into a teddy, chirping, ?Takfir!? (non-believer). Palestinian pre-schoolers stage mock terrorist attacks on a prop Israeli house, while a narrator exhorts, ?Stab! Kill the occupier with stones and knives. Use any available weapon?.

Hand-wringing ?education experts? in the West fret over boys dressing up in superhero costumes, or girls playing with ?gendered? toys like dolls and tea-sets: in other words, doing exactly what little boys and girls will do in the absence of creepy social-engineers. Islamic tots play with knives and terrorist outfits. Western kids idolise Spiderman and rainbow ponies. Palestinian kids venerate suicide bombers.

At least they still do finger-paint: even if the only colour they use is red, representing the blood of the Jew.

Okay, that one?s a joke. I hope.