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Ulema demands intervention in Ahmadiyah attack
Nana Rukmana, The Jakarta Post, Majalengka
A leading ulema in West Java, where yet another attack on an Islamic sect took place Saturday, has demanded that Jakarta intervene in what he said was “unacceptable” violence.
Despite orders from Vice President Jusuf Kalla that police get tough on the perpetrators of an attack on the Ahmadiyah community last Tuesday in West Java, witnesses said some 50 masked figures destroyed mosques and the homes of its members in Majalengka regency here around midnight Saturday.
KH Maman Imanulhaq, the leader of the Al Mizan Islamic boarding school, said the central government must intervene to ensure that citizens are free to practice their faith as guaranteed in the Constitution.
“There can be no destroying or sealing (of places of worship)”, said Maman, who often acts as mediator between Ahmadiyah and the public here.
Following last week’s attack, involving hundreds of people, four of whom were injured, in Kuningan regency, the local government sealed the main mosque and two smaller prayer houses belonging to Ahmadiyah.
The attackers said they were members of the Muslim Components of Kuningan Regency (Kompak).
Similar attacks against Ahmadiyah have been reported in a number of provinces such as those which took place last year in Central and South Sulawesi and West Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.
Witnesses said masked figures destroyed a mosque and a small prayer house belonging to the Ahmadiyah sect in Majalengka, just days after the Tuesday attack in nearby Kuningan regency.
No casualties were reported.
Kalla had said that although the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had ruled that Ahmadiyah was heretical, this did not justify violence against its followers.
Sect members say they are Muslim but are abhorred by mainstream Islam because its founder claimed to be the next prophet after Muhammad.
The last attack, in which the homes of six Ahmadiyah members were also vandalized, occurred in the Sadasari subdistrict in the Argapura district of Majalengka.
“They stoned the worship places and the homes,” said Maman, also a leading figure in the provincial branch of the country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama.
He said the attack lasted for about 10 minutes, during which the perpetrators ransacked the prayer buildings.
Almost all the windows and doors of the prayer buildings were destroyed while the roof tiles and windows of the houses were shattered.
On Sunday police were still guarding the location and all entry sites to the subdistrict.
Maman said the attack was probably related to last week’s violence against Ahmadiyah.
“It is unacceptable,” he said.