What would you say to men who killed your mother? And could you forgive them? These were questions that faced 17-year-old Sarah Salsabila on an Indonesian prison island one day last October.
Iwan Setiawan was on his motorbike, speeding past the Australian embassy in Jakarta. His mind was on his wife, whose arms were around his chest and whose pregnant belly he could feel pressing against his back. Their second child was due within weeks and they were on their way to hospital for a check-up.
“Suddenly there was this incredibly loud sound and we were thrown into the air,” he remembers.
Iwan didn’t know till much later that it was a suicide bomb, the work of a local Islamist militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group with links to al-Qaeda responsible for a series of attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people from around the world.
“I just saw blood. Lots of blood. Metal went flying into one of my eyes, destroying it.”
His wife was thrown from the bike, landing metres away. Both were rushed to hospital and, in a state of shock, a badly injured Halila Seroja Daulay went into labour.
“She was rushed into the operating room after getting contractions. But praise be to Allah,…