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Ahmadis continue to live in fear
The Jakarta Post, Bogor/West java
Intimidated by rumors of another assault, more than 600 residents in the isolated Cisalada neighborhood in Ciampea Udik village, Bogor, are living in fear after fresh violence.
“I’m afraid to go to the traditional market because other residents might try to kill me,” 51-year-old Lela (not her real name) told The Jakarta Post last week.
Lela and her husband live in a house only a dozen meters away from a mosque that was torched on Friday.
“I cannot erase the horrific memory of dozens of young men from Pasar Salasa and Kebon Kopi [areas] suddenly attacking our neighborhood,” she said.
Lela was referring to an incident that took place last Friday evening, when approximately 20 people attacked Cisalada residents at around 7:15 p.m. Assailants threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and burned more than 30 Koran at an Ahmadiyah mosque that was under construction. The mob disbursed but later returned in larger numbers and set fire to five houses, a car and two motorcycles.
So far, none of the assailants have been apprehended, but one Ahmadi was arrested on Monday for allegedly stabbing one of the attackers.
Yellow police lines surrounded the remains of shattered buildings when the Post visited the area.
Soldiers and police officers used empty houses as makeshift base camps. Five police trucks were parked in schoolyard that no longer had glass in its window frames. Some officers patrolled the area with rifles slung around their shoulders.
Lacking confidence in the authorities’ ability to prevent further attacks, some residents decided to move their families to other areas in Bogor, West Java.
Ali, a 34-year-old university student living in Jakarta, came home to visit his mother and help her move to temporarily stay with relatives
“I’m worried about her, especially considering these rumors of an even larger assault,” he said.
A nearby house belonging to Ali’s uncle was allegedly raided by the angry mob during the incident.
Even though the incident was immediately reported to the nearest police precinct, located only 7 kilometers away, the police finally arrived two hours after the initial assault, neighborhood unit chief Edi Humaedi said.
“I watched the mob marching toward us, and one hooligan even asked for my permission to burn our mosque. Can you imagine such a thing? They were just young kids,” Edi said.
He said he would defend his belief and neighborhood, to death if necessary, if another mob attacked his community.
Another resident from nearby Pasar Salasa, Dodon, 51, said he was angry with Ahmadiyah followers because their teachings were blasphemous and insulted Islam.
“Their Koran is different from ours. They have removed several verses and they believe that the Prophet Mohammad wasn’t the last prophet,” Dodon told the Post, although he also admitted to never read the Ahmadis’ scripture. (rch)