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Home Worldwide Indonesia May, 2008 Ahmadiyah closes …
Ahmadiyah closes mosque to avoid attacks

Headlines May 02, 2008 

Ahmadiyah closes mosque to avoid attacks

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor

Members of Ahmadiyah sect voluntarily pulled down the roof to their mosque, An Nur, in Ciaruteun kampung, Bogor regency, on Wednesday.

The police put tape around the mosque to assure no one would enter the area.

An Ahmadiyah member, Nunik, who lives next door, said closing the mosque was the best way to prevent violence.

“It is OK for us not to pray at the mosque. We can still do it at home. The most important thing is that our houses are safe,” she said.

A resident in the kampung, Asep Abdul Aziz, said he praised the sect’s decision to close their mosque because minor physical attacks had already occurred.

“Some residents threw stones at the mosque a few days earlier. It might get worse if the mosque remains open,” he said.

Residents helped sect members close their mosque from 7.30 a.m, Asep said.

Bogor police precinct chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Arief Ontowiryo said his team now oversee several critical locations within the regency where sect members live.

The regions are Cibungbulang, Ciampea and Kemang districts. The sect’s school, Mubarok College, is in Kemang.

Police have facilitated communications between sect members and local residents to prevent violence, Arief said.

“From our discussions with the two groups, we agreed to pull down the An Nur mosque’s roof.

I think it’s the best thing to do after guarding the mosque for days,” he said.

Violence toward sect members in Cibungbulang and Ciampea has escalated over the past few years despite the sect living at peace in the regions since 1934.

“We will not raise our weapons regardless of whether or not they throw stones at us or hurt us in any way.

We leave everything to Allah’s will,” he said.

The police have been guarding their mosque, At Taufik, in the village for almost a week, he said.

Basirudin said there are about 1,500 Ahmadiyah members living in the two districts.

An Nur is located three kilometers away from At Taqwa Mosque. A group living near At Taqwa, calling themselves the Jamaah Al Mubalighin Communication Forum, urged Ahmadiyah members close their mosques and dismiss their activities.

The forum burned down a mosque belonging to the sect in Parakan Salak village, Sukabumi regency.

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