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Thousands besiege Ahmadiyah complex
Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post/Bogor
Some 10,000 people from the Indonesian Muslim Solidarity group attacked on Friday afternoon the compound of the Ahmadiyah Indonesia Congregation (JAI).
About 500 JAI followers were forced to leave the compound on Jl. Raya Parung in Bogor, West Java.
Armed with stones and batons, the attackers broke into the compound, known as Mubarak campus, damaging buildings and setting fire to the women’s dormitory, although more than 390 police officers were on guard outside the compound.
The JAI followers, some of whom were armed with catapults and marbles as ammunition, quickly extinguished the fire.
Arriving at the scene at about 2 p.m., the solidarity group demanded that the JAI followers leave Parung within two hours.
“Ahmadiyah’s teachings are not in accordance with Islam,” group coordinator Habib Abdurrahman Ismail Assegaf said, demanding the compound be shut down.
He said the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had issued an edict in 1980, which declared the teachings of Ahmadiyah forbidden. The council’s Bogor branch recently called for the congregation to be told to leave Bogor.
“Ahmadiyah is not a Muslim group … It says that Prophet Muhammad was not the last (prophet) and that its followers can be a haji by carrying out a ritual right here in its compound, so they don’t have to go to Mecca,” Abdurrahman said.
After tough negotiations with Bogor Police chief Adj. Comr. Agus K. Sutisna, Bogor Council speaker Rahmat Yasin, deputy regent Albert Pribadi, and Bogor Prosecutor’s Office chief Marabangun Siregar, Ahmadiyah’s followers agreed to leave the compound.
They were moved at 5:15 p.m. in four trucks to the prosecutor’s office compound.
“Our religious teachings are legitimate. This is a human rights violation. We will ask the President to do something,” said Abdul Basit, one of Ahmadiyah’s leaders.
The move to get Ahmadiyah to leave the compound was the second after a similar hard-line Muslim group failed in a July 9 attack, in which several people from both groups were injured.
Ahmadiyah was established in Pakistan in the 19th century by Gulam Ahmad Khan. It is estimated that there are 200,000 followers of Ahmadiyah in Indonesia.
Mamat, a resident of Kemang, Parung expressed dismay at the scene.
“How can Muslims attack each other? How could it end up like this?” he said.