Recommend UsEmail this PageeGazetteAlislam.org
Ahmadiyah Villagers Still Enduring Abuse From Neighbors After Attack
Ulma Haryanto | January 20, 2011
A follower of the minority Islamic sect, Ahmadiyah, holding a burnt copy of the Koran in Ciampea, West Java, after violence directed at the Islamic sect earlier this month. In what is likely to be a hugely controversial — if not illegal — decision, authorities in West Nusa Tenggar plan to relocated 20 sect families to a deserted island in Lombok. (Reuters Photo/Dadang Tri)
Indonesia. More than three months after their homes, school and mosque were torched, members of a beleaguered Ahmadiyah community near Bogor continue to be persecuted by their neighbors.
The community of about 600 was the target of a mob of 200 hard-liners on Oct. 1 in an attack that saw their homes looted and set on fire.
During a visit to Cisalada village by the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday, several of the homes were being rebuilt while others had simply had their broken windows covered with cardboard.
The mosque and school were fully renovated, although the mosque still sported a police line and its entrance was boarded up with large planks of wood.
“It’s just a cover,” says Rahmat Ali, 33, a resident. “We enter the mosque through a side door.”
The trauma from last year’s attack, he adds, will take a long time to get over, particularly for the children. “One neighborhood kid had nightmares about the incident for weeks,” he says.
But even now, the community is not allowed to rebuild in peace. On Tuesday, neighboring villagers blockaded the entrance to the community’s residential complex and taunted any Ahmadiyah follower passing by.
The entrance opens onto the road leading to Pasar Salasa and Kebon Kopi villages, where the mob from the Oct. 1 attack had come from.
“Some of us still avoid the road to this day,” Rahmat says. “We use the main road or take the long way around that goes through Cimanggu village.”
Seventh-graders Dinar Agnelia, 12, and Alisya Alka, 13, were not afforded that option. They were bullied and had to plead to be allowed through on their way home from school.
“There were these young men, some of them from junior high, blocking the road,” Dinar says. “They told us to use another road.”
But because the other roads were also blocked, they had to plead their way past.
Mira Susila, 32, received worse treatment as she tried to get through to pick up her visiting grandmother.
“There were women standing there, shouting to the men to rape me if I passed,” she says. “They said: ‘The Ahmadiyah should find their own way. Don’t let them pass.’?”
The blockade, which began at 11 a.m., was finally ended at 5 p.m. when Bogor Police, soldiers and administration officials met with leaders from Cisalada.
Rahmat says the community has been bullied since the 1940s. “We’ve asked the government to mediate, but it never works,” he says.