UCA News

Indonesia police to guard sect over Ramadan

Persecuted Ahmadiya community at risk of new attacks
Indonesia police to guard sect over Ramadan

Islamic Defenders Front members rally in Jakarta

Published: July 10, 2013 06:37 AM GMT
Updated: July 09, 2013 09:31 PM GMT

Police in West Java have been dispatched to guard four Ahmadiya mosques in Bandung during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, amid fears of attacks from hardliners.

Among the mosques, located in Astana Anyar and Cibeunying Kaler sub-districts, is An Nasir, which was attacked by members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) last year.

Police will monitor the Ahmadiya community’s activities during Ramadan, which begins today. “We don’t want attacks on mosques to take place again,” the Deputy Chief of the Bandung City Police, Adj. Sr. Comr. Awal Chairuddin, told Merdeka.com yesterday.

Ahmad Faizal Reza of the An Nasir mosque welcomed the police effort but said that many of the 9,000 community members remained worried.

“The last attacks we experienced were on Oct 25 2012 when we wanted to perform the Eid al-Adha prayer in our mosque,” he told ucanews.com today.

Some windows and doors were broken in the attacks, which began with FPI members forcing the Ahmadiya community to write a statement saying that they wouldn’t conduct any activities anymore. But the community refused to do so.

Attacks against the Ahmadiya -- deemed a heretical sect by many mainstream Muslims -- began in 2002, and have since escalated. Pressure on the government from religious conservatives has led to a ban on all activities, but Reza said the group still had a right to mark Ramadan.

“We are always reminded to conduct religious activities only in our own mosques,” he said.

In February 2011, footage emerged of police looking on as three people from an Ahmadiya family in West Java’s Banten province were beaten to death by hundreds of mainstream Muslims.

The ban on activities was introduced the following month, with the local governor claiming it was for their own safety.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia