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Disband Ahmadis and we won’t attack them, FPI says
Hans David Tampubolon, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI) pledged it would not launch an attack on Ahmadiyah followers or their property in the city.
FPI leaders visited Jakarta Police headquarters Wednesday for what they claimed was a coordination meeting with police to prevent members of the group from carrying out acts of violence against Ahmadis in the city.
The head of the Jakarta branch of the FPI, Habib Salim Alatas, said, however, that the group’s willingness to bury the hatchet in Jakarta came with the condition that the government outlaw Ahmadiyah.
“If not, we, along with [other] Muslims in this country, will wage a revolution against the government,” he warned.
Responding to the pledge from the FPI, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Sutarman called on the hardliners — and other civilian groups — to not take the law into their own hands by attacking minority groups they deemed “heretical” or “immoral”.
“That’s a job for the police,” he said Wednesday.
Sutarman stressed that only the police had the authority to conduct raids.
He said the FPI, as with other mass organizations, had to file reports to the police if they found anything suspicious.
“If the FPI have problems with anything, they can file a report with the police,” he said.
Sutarman said raids by civilian groups violated the law.
The FPI has a notorious record of conducting “raids” on night spots in the capital and other cities.
Following an attack on Ahmadis in Cikeusik, Banten, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for mass organizations that incited violence to be disbanded.
However, he stopped short of naming any groups, although many believe he was referring to the FPI.
The FPI denied allegations it was behind the attack in Cikeusik and another attack on churches in Temanggung, Central Java.
The FPI lashed out against the President, threatening to bring a “Tunisian-style revolution” if he dared disband the organization.
Following the Cikeusik incident, Jakarta Police stepped up security measures in 13 Ahmadi areas in Greater Jakarta. Sutarman has also authorized officers to use of excessive force — including shooting on sight — against civilians involved in attacks on minorities.
Sutarman earlier said intelligence reports suggested that an attack on Ahmadis in Jakarta was possible.
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said his administration was working with police and the Indonesian Military to anticipate possible future attacks against Ahmadis.
That’s the best we can do, Fauzi said, adding that the safety of Ahmadis in the capital rested in the hands of God.
Acts of violence against Ahmadis date back to the early 1950s, but it was not until 2005 that hostilities intensified dramatically. In 2010 alone, there were at least 10 recorded attacks against the minority sect.
In Bogor, a panel of judges at the trial of suspects charged with attacking Ahmadis in Ciampea decided to hold a closed-door session to prevent crowds from mobbing the court building.
Police were also deployed to guard witnesses in the trial, Ahmadiyah followers who survived the October 2010 attack.