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Indonesian Team to Move Out Ahmadiyah of Lombok
Fitri | December 01, 2010
Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. Authorities in West Lombok district have formed a special team to supervise and relocate members of the Ahmadiyah sect, an official said on Wednesday.
M.S. Udin, an assistant to the district chief, said officials meeting on Tuesday evening agreed to set up a nine-man team to deal with the minority Islamic group, whose members were forced out of Gegerung village in Lingsar subdistrict by mainstream Muslims opposed to their beliefs.
Udin said the team would oversee the sale of Ahmadiyah property and make sure the sect members received compensation.
The team will also begin the process of moving Ahmadiyah families. It is currently looking at a proposal to move them to the coastal Sekotong subdistrict.
He said the Ahmadis would also be required to report to officials whenever they returned to the village to work their fields.
“It would be impossible to restrict them from making a living by working their own land. Many of them still own land in [Gegerung’s] Ketapang hamlet,” he said.
“But to be safe, they should report to the [security] coordination post that they are returning to Ketapang — not to live [there], but to work their fields.”
“These Ahmadis are still convinced they will be able to return to Ketapang and that there will be no problem,” Udin added. “But if residents heard they were back, there would be new problems, destruction of property and more.”
Tuesday’s meeting of officials was held in Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara, and was attended by Ahmadiyah leaders, security officials, prosecutors and district heads.
In addition to Udin, the nine-man team will include representatives of the National Land Agency (BPN), the district secretary, head of the district’s assets unit, the Lingsar subdistrict chief, the Gegerung village head and security officials.
Zaini Arony, the head of West Lombok district, will meet with the Ahmadis — who have been living in temporary shelters since being chased from their village — to discuss the relocation plan.
Zauji, the head of the Ahmadiyah’s provincial chapter who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said the group’s members wanted “legal clarity” on the issue of the destruction of their homes and assurances that they would be protected from further violence and intimidation.
“Whatever the decision, it will have nothing to do with the organization. [Officials] will have to deal with the Ahmadiyah members directly,” he said. “We will leave it to them to decide.”
Zulhair, an Ahmadi who has lived in a hajj transit building in Mataram since 2006, said he wanted to go home. “If I could, I want to return to my house in Ketapang. That is my personal wish.”
He said it was difficult for Ahmadis to trust an administration that had repeatedly failed to protect them from attacks.
Many mainstream Muslims view Ahmadiyah as a deviant sect because they believe its members recognize the sect’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as the last prophet.