Detentions over Indonesia clashes
Hardliners allegedly beat people at a tolerance rally in Jakarta on Sunday
Indonesian have detained 57 members of a hard-line Muslim group following violence at a rally for religious tolerance, officials say.
Police rounded up members of the Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI) at the group’s headquarters in Jakarta.
The move came after stick-wielding FPI members allegedly beat several people at the rally on Sunday.
The gathering had called for tolerance towards the minority Ahmadiyah sect - which some Indonesians want banned.
Police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira confirmed the detentions in the pre-dawn raid.
“We have taken for questioning a total of 57 people,” he told the AFP news agency.
“However, whether they will be declared suspects or not will depend on the result of their questioning,” he said.
Sunday’s rally was organised by the National Alliance for Freedom of Religion and Faith.
Several speakers had urged tolerance towards the Ahmadiyah sect, whose beliefs differ from mainstream Islam.
The subsequent violence at the gathering sparked an outcry by moderate Muslims.
The BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Jakarta says that the alleged involvement of FPI members has shone a spotlight on the group’s activities, and further widened the gulf between liberal and hard-line Muslim organisations.
The FPI leader told his followers this week to prepare for war against the minority Ahmadiyah and those who supported their right to exist.
But the FPI’s own right to exist has also come into question, with many people calling on the government to ban them, our correspondent adds.
A presidential spokesman said the state was looking at whether there was a legal case for banning them.