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Govt Tells Bogor Villagers It Will Deal With Ahmadis
April 7, 2011
A West Java government team dealing with the province’s beleaguered Ahmadiyah community on Thursday called on area residents to leave the matter of the sect to the administration.
Speaking at the village hall of Ciaruteun Udik in Bogor district, where attacks against the sect’s members have repeatedly taken place, West Java Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Endang Saprudin said people must remain patient when dealing with the sect members, and abstain from resorting to violence against them.
“Entrust the handling to the central government,” he said, adding that Ahmadis should be treated like a family member who had strayed and needed help to return to the true path.
“Do this with patience, as our Prophet taught us, and through family approaches. People should not get jailed just because they had become impatient in facing the Ahmadiyah community,” he said.
Endang reminded the villagers that while sect members could not be legally punished for their beliefs, people who committed acts of violence against them could face legal consequences.
He also called on local leaders to adopt a personal approach in attempting to convert Ahmadis to “true” Islam.
Dadun, a religious leader from Ciaruteun Udik, called on security personnel to be firm in acting against the Ahmadiyah. He also called on the government to not only ban the sect’s activities, but to ban the sect altogether.
“There should not be another conflict erupting in society,” Dadun said.
The government has decreed that Ahmadis are prohibited from worshiping in public and from proselytizing, but has stopped short of banning the sect. Rights activists have blamed the decree for inciting violence against Ahmadiyah communities in the country, including in West Java.
Late on Tuesday, five Ahmadi houses were attacked by a group of villagers in Ciaruteun Udik. There were no casualties as the houses’ occupants had fled earlier.
Ahmad Hidayat, a local Ahmadiyah leader, said he had instructed sect members in the village to flee and seek shelter and safety at a neighboring Ahmadiyah community in Cisalada.
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.
The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), the country’s highest authority on Islam, declared Ahmadiyah to be a deviant religious sect in an edict issued last year.
The council believes that the substance of Ahmadiyah doctrines contravenes Islamic teachings for stating that the Prophet Muhammad is not the last prophet. Vento Saudale