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Indonesian President Again Appeals for Calm After Islamic Sect Attacked
Camelia Pasandaran | October 02, 2010
Jakarta. Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has again appealed to the nation for calm after members of the minority Ahmadiyah sect in Ciampea, Bogor, were targeted by a violent mob.
Presidential spokesman Julian Pasha, speaking a news conference at the Presidential Palace on Saturday, said Yudhoyono had asked Indonesians “not to be easily provoked” by rumors and instead join the government in helping provide secure the country.
He was commenting in relation to the attack on Ahmadiyah, in which hundreds of villagers armed with sticks, axes and sharp weapons torched a car, four houses and part of a mosque on Friday.
The attack was reportedly motivated by false rumors that two members of Ahmadiyah – which is based on Islamic teachings but is considered heretical by mainstream Indonesian Muslims – had stabbed and killed two villagers.
The attack came just hours after Yudhoyono addressed the nation at the Baiturrahim Mosque inside the State Palace complex to ask for religious tolerance.
Julian said Yudhoyono had instructed Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, National Police and the local government to address and solve the problems in Ciampea.
“The president asks that the system function well and whenever there is a violation of the law violation by anyone, those people should be sanctioned.”
Yudhoyono also said that those responsible for spreading the rumors “should be handled properly,” Julian said.
Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), meanwhile, condemned the violence against Ahmadiyah.
She said people should be free to follow their religion, without exception, and the government should act to ensure the Constitution was upheld. Those responsible for the violence should be charged, she said.