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Bogor disperses Ahmadiyah, sends followers home
Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor
Bogor Police were still guarding the vacant compound of the Ahmadiyah Indonesia Congregation (JAI) on Jl. Raya Parung in Pondok Udik subdistrict, Kemang district, on Saturday, following a violent protest over its presence on Friday.
As the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had issued an edict in 1980 which declared the teachings of Ahmadiyah forbidden, strengthened recently by the council’s Bogor branch, the Bogor administration asked the congregation to leave late on Friday.
Public order officer Imam said the administration had noted that the 700 JAI followers who lived in the compound had been sent to their respective hometowns.
Detective First Insp. Anjas said that the followers were evacuated to the bigger City Hall, not the Bogor Prosecutor’s Office as planned.
“We finished recording their identities at about 10 p.m. and sent them to their hometowns in Jakarta, Depok and Tasikmalaya in West Java, Sulawesi, and even as far as Papua,” he said.
Some 10,000 people from the Indonesian Muslim Solidarity group attacked the JAI compound on Friday afternoon, which was locally known as Mubarak campus as it housed a boarding school.
Armed with stones and batons, the attackers damaged the buildings and set fire to the women’s dormitory.
The Jakarta Post met some school staffers and students who went back to take their belongings before leaving for their homes.
“We’re leaving until it’s safe to come back,” said Soleh, a teacher, who came back to pick up his cellular phone.
Rejecting the accusation that Ahmadiyah’s teachings ran contrary to Islam, the students said the only difference was that Ahmadiyah saw Islam as a peaceful religion.
“Talk to us, you don’t have to vandalize or burn our homes. We only fear God, not preachers,” Soleh said.
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.
The attackers said that Ahmadiyah was not a Muslim group as the teachings say that Prophet Muhammad was not the last prophet and that its followers could be considered a hajji by carrying out a ritual in an area in the compound which was made to look similar to Mecca.
“I don’t understand why violence is necessary? The people from Ahmadiyah never created a disturbance here. Actually, we are more afraid of those protesters,” said Ali, a chief of a neighborhood unit in Pondok Udik subdistrict.