Over the past two days, eight homes, four motorcycles and a shop have been destroyed. “The attacks were based on similar reasons: hatred and intolerance,” said a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyah Indonesia Congregation. “It’s not the first and definitely won’t be the last attack. It’s been years and the Ahmadi community continues to live under threats”. Since they do not acknowledge Muhammad as the last prophet, the Ahmadis have been attacked by the most radical Islamic groups.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A series of attacks on the island of East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province, has shaken Indonesia’s Ahmadi community. Considered heretical by most Muslims, they have often been the victims of persecution.
On Saturday afternoon, a mob tried to expel Ahmadis from the village of Grepek Tanak Eat, near Greneng. Seven families for a total of 24 people were forced to leave their homes as attackers torched at least eight houses, four motorcycles and a shop. The Ahmadis found refuge at the local police station.
Overnight, the home of another Ahmadi family was also set on fire. A third attack took place the following morning, when unknown people attacked another Ahmadi-owned building.
"People have left their farms. Some others [whose houses were not destroyed] fled and are staying with their relatives elsewhere," Ahmadi community spokesman Saleh told the media.
Ahmadiyah Indonesia Congregation (JAI) secretary Yendra Budiana said the incident followed a series of attacks on the Ahmadi community in another residential area last March and on 9 May.
“The attacks were based on similar reasons: hatred and intolerance,” he explained. “It’s not the first and definitely won’t be the last attack. It’s been years and the Ahmadi community continues to live under threats”.
The Ahmadiyah movement was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in the Indian village of Qadian (Punjab, British India).
Since they do not acknowledge Muhammad as the last prophet, Ahmadis have been attacked by the most radical Islamic groups. In some parts of the country, they are not allowed to pray in public places or even in their homes.
According to various independent estimates, the number of Ahmadis in Indonesia ranges from 200,000 to 500,000 members, in 542 communities across the country with 289 mosques and 110 mission centres. Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs puts the number at about 80,000 members.