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VP condemns mob attack on Islamic sect
JAKARTA (Agencies): Vice President Yusuf Kalla on Saturday condemned an attack by about 1,000 Muslims on the headquarters of a little-known Islamic sect denounced as heretical by mainstream Muslim groups around the world.
Armed with batons and stones, the mob attacked the headquarters of the Ahamadiyah sect in the town of Bogor, just south of Jakarta on Friday, vandalizing offices and living quarters. The mob hurled stones at the sect’s followers as police escorted them from the complex.
Police tried to stop the attack, but were outnumbered.
“Differences should not be resolved through violence,” Kalla was quoted by Associated Press as saying.
Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Basyuni said he would study the group’s teachings to see if they were in line with Islam, but urged “people not to take the law into their hands.”
Ahamadiyah was formed in Pakistan in the 19th century. Its followers say the group’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet who came after Muhammad, whom mainstream Muslims believe was God’s final messenger.
Most Muslims consider the group heretical, and its followers face discrimination and bans by Islamic authorities around the world. It claims 200,000 adherents in Indonesia.
The Indonesia Ulama’s Council has issued several edicts declaring Ahmadiyah’s teaching forbidden, but the state has never tried to forcefully disband it or arrest its followers.