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Ahmadiyah Urge W. Java to Revoke Ban That Fuels Violence
Yuli Krisna | March 31, 2011
Bandung. The Indonesia Ahmadiyah Congregation has issued an urgent request to West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan to revoke a recent decree issued to ban activities of the Ahmadiyah.
The congregation, or the JAI, says a decree banning the religious activities of the sect is fueling further violent attacks against them.
“I request that the governor revoke the decree because it is neither easing tensions nor preventing anarchism. Instead, it is driving groups toward anarchy,” Rafiq Ahmad Sumadi Gandakusuma, spokesman for JAI in the western part of West Java, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
“The effect of such decrees have been disastrous. So many believe we, the Ahmadiyah, have been banned when actually what has been banned [are our activities] which are in violation of the core teachings of Islam, which are listed in the joint ministerial decree.”
In recent years, persecution and violent attacks have marked the lives of Ahmadis across Indonesia, with the government accusing them of leading more and more Muslims astray.
Rafiq said the persecution and attacks were continuing. On Tuesday night, he said, the house of at least one Ahmadi follower was vandalized in the Sukagalih area of Tasikmalaya, West Java.
“The attack was conducted by 40 men. They were not locals from Tolenjeng village, Sukagalih, where the attack took place. Police were there, but they were just watching. I heard they are questioning witnesses, but what is the point?” he said.
“I would therefore like to question the governor’s statement that the decree was issued to keep the peace and to guarantee security conditions in the regions. That is completely wrong.”
Rafiq also spoke of other attacks. On March 10, he said, an Islamic boarding school in Sukabumi was sealed by locals and security officers.
On March 13, electronic equipment and books thought to belong to the sect were burned in Cipeuyeum, Cianjur,
He said more violence followed on March 14-15 in the villages of Cibuntu and Ciareuteun Udik in Bogor, leaving at least eight homes damaged.
In addition to the violence, Rafiq said the Ahmadiyah congregation continued to face intimidation. This included numerous instances in which sect members were forced to convert to mainstream Islam through signed statements.