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Ulema asks Ahmadiyah members to convert
Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor
Some ulemas and prominent figures of the Islamic Forum staged a rally in front of Ahmadiyah’s Al-Fadhl mosque at Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan, Bogor, on Friday, asking sect members return to the basic creeds of Islam.
The protesters marched from Bogor Grand Mosque after performing Friday prayer and some additional sermons.
When they arrived at the mosque, they put up some posters in the mosque’s fences.
The protest did not turn violent as Ahmadiyah members had already left the mosque after performing Friday prayers.
The forum’s secretary-general Habib Harun Al-Rashid said they were appealing to Ahmadiyah followers to return to “genuine Islamic teachings”.
He also said the march had taken place because the government had yet to decide whether the sect would be banned.
An executive of the sect’s youth organization, Fadhal Husban, said sect members would ignore such demonstrations as long as it did not bother the people who live around their mosque.
“Whatever they are going to do, we will not fight back. Besides, the government has yet to issue the joint ministrial decree (to ban Ahmadiyah). We will wait for the decision from Ahmadiyah’s central committee to respond to what has happened today,” he said.
Since the government announced its plan to ban the sect, some regular activities in the mosque, such as Koranic reciting sessions for women, had been stopped, said Fadhal, adding that the mosque was still performing Friday prayer as usual.
Central Bogor’s police chief, Adj. Comr Ade Yusuf Hidayat, said around 170 police personnel were deployed to guide the march.
“We want to anticipate anarchy during this activity,” he said.
Ahmadiyah members have become targets of violent acts since the government announced a plan to ban the sect last month.
Another Islamic group burnt down a mosque in Parakan Salak village, Sukabumi regency, last week. (uwi)