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Ciputat residents protest Ahmadiyah
Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang
Hundreds of residents grouped under the Ciputat Muslim Community Forum (FMMC) sealed a mosque belonging to the beleaguered Islamic sect Ahmadiyah in Ciputat, Tangerang, on Wednesday.
The residents said they sealed the Baitul Qoyyum mosque on Jl. Raya Bukit in Serua subdistrict because Ahmadiyah members had failed to abide by a joint ministerial decree released in June.
The decree banned the group from proselytizing, while allowing it to continue activities that were confined to its mosques.
“Jamaah Ahmadiyah still holds religious activities as usual and has continued the physical construction of the mosque even though none of the Muslims living in the subdistrict agree with their presence here,” FMMC coordinator Subhan Basuni said.
The residents’ attempt to seal the mosque was prevented by the police. Later, on the mosque’s fence, the group tried to place a banner reading, “This mosque is closed for all activities because it caused a disturbance to the beliefs of Muslims in Ciputat.”
When residents insisted on putting the banner in place, police officers gave in on the condition that everyone left immediately afterward.
“We just wanted to set up the banner because based on Islamic beliefs, the presence of the mosque and the religious activity of Ahmadis has caused a disturbance to the residents of Serua and Serua Indah subdistricts,” Basuni said.
Ciputat district chief Chaerul Saleh called on Ahmadis to cease their activities and refrain from spreading their teachings among locals. Ahmadiyah members in Ciputat have reached 250, he added.
“I call on residents to exercise patience and avoid any kind of negative reaction,” he said.
Dozens of police officers were deployed to guard the mosque in anticipation of escalated tensions.
A number of Ahmadiyah members who were inside the mosque did not come out, but looked on and watched the protest.