West Java Ahmadiyah riot calls president's action

Posted by David Khoirul

Ahmadiyah Manis LorSome mosques have been closed. Tensions are rising and president starts to take an action. This is the situation in Kuningan, West Java, after security officials closed a number of mosques of Ahmadiyah, a group that, for Muslims, is considered deviant.

On Friday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for firm police action, as reported by TheJakartaGlobe.com:

Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, said the president had instructed him to order the police to take resolute action against the unrest. "In my opinion, anarchy -- no matter by whom or where -- should be handled firmly," the minister quoted Yudhoyono as saying.

The Kuningan Police have already been told of their duties, Djoko said, adding that he had confidence they would be able to contain the situation. Police officers, acting on orders from the Kuningan district head, on Thursday sealed off Ahmadiyah mosques in Manis Lor village after having failed to do so on Monday due to resistance from the group's members. But as the protesters blocked police attempts to shut down their mosques, groups of hard-line Muslims flocked to the village and scuffles have broken out. Police have since been busy preventing an escalation in violence.

Amid pressure from Muslim groups, the government in 2008 prohibited members of Ahmadiyah from practicing their faith in public or proselytizing, but stopped short of banning the sect that many mainstream Muslims consider deviant. Unlike other Muslims, members of Ahmadiyah recognize the sect's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as a prophet.

While ordering the police to be firm, Djoko recognized they also faced difficulties in containing the situation. "If there are only five officers up against 500 people, they cannot be firm," he said. "So they have to adjust to the conditions in the field." Kuningan's district head, Aang Hamid Suganda, who had ordered the mosques sealed, called on all parties to avoid violence.

"We must make all Kuningan people feel secure," Aang said.

(via The Jakarta Globe)


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