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MUI Official Blames Government for Bogor Attack
February 24, 2011
A religious figure told a court on Wednesday that the government’s failure to outlaw Ahmadiyah was to blame for a 2010 attack on the Islamic sect in Bogor’s Cisalada village.
Khaerul Yunus, a member of the advisory board of the Bogor branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), told Cibinong District Court that the existence of Ahmadiyah was in violation of a 1965 law on religious blasphemy.
That law, he said, makes it illegal to “publicize, recommend or organize public support” for non-orthodox versions of the six religions recognized by the state.
“From that, your honor, it is clear that Ahmadiyah has violated the law,” Khaerul said, to cheers from members of conservative Muslim groups who packed the courtroom.
Ahmadiyah preaches that there was another prophet after Muhammad, while mainstream Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet, Khaerul added.
He told the panel of judges that the attack on the Ahmadiyah community was the result of the government’s lax attitude toward sects in the country.
“The government does not take strict measures [against sects]. There is an MUI edict from 2005 banning Ahmadiyah and the joint decree from three ministers in 2008 that bans Ahmadiyah from spreading its faith,” he said.
“The government merely issued the regulation but has failed to check whether it is being followed.”
The attack in October 2010 saw a mob burn down houses, schools and a mosque in Cisalada, which is home to about 600 Ahmadiyah members.
Also taking the witness stand on Wednesday was Rendy Apriayansah, a Cisalada resident who was allegedly stabbed by an Ahmadiyah member during the mob attack.
He told the court that he and 10 of his friends went to the Ahmadiyah housing complex to “have a discussion” with the leaders of the group after noticing that there was a television set inside the sect’s mosque.
“There should not be a television set inside a mosque,” he said.
“But after we had spent about 15 minutes inside the mosque, the electricity suddenly went off and we ran outside. I was stabbed by an Ahmadiyah member when I tried to escape through the front door.”
When questioned by the presiding judge, Astriwati, about how he knew he had been stabbed by an Ahmadiyah member, Rendy went back and forth before being reminded by the judge that he was under oath.
“I think I was stabbed by an Ahmadiyah member,” he replied.
Bogor Police deployed 150 officers to secure the hearing, which was adjourned until March 9. Vento Saudale