07/25/2013, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Java, Ahmadi mosque shut down

by Mathias Hariyadi
A well-known Islamic fundamentalist forces Regency’s community - considered "heretical" by Muslim extremists - to close the doors of a place of worship. The author of the order worked for years with a government group in charge of "monitoring" religious activities in the country. It is the fourth mosque to close in 4 months.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - With the complicity of the central government, an Islamic Indonesian cleric forcibly closed an Ahmadis mosque in Cilimus, a village about two kilometers from one of the major Ahmadis centers of Cianjur Regency (West Java). This is the fourth place of worship of the Muslim minority to be forcibly shut down in the area since last April.

The material author of the gesture is known as "guru Yiyi".  He is well known in the area because of his long collaboration with the Bakorpakem, a body that monitors religious activities and is part of the Office of the Attorney General and National Intelligence Service. When the cleric arrived at the mosque to order its closure, the police did not intervene despite the protests of the Ahmadis faithful.

The Muslim minority is considered heretical because it does not recognize Muhammad as the last prophet and is often the victim of persecution and abuse from orthodox Sunni Islam. For a long time the presence of Ahmadis has been a source of inter-islamic intolerance in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. The climate of hostility became even more acute after the declaration of the most important Islamic groups in the country - including the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the National Council of Ulema (MUI) - that the community is not part of the "original "and pure faith.

Just the Regency of Cianjur has been the scene of violent clashes between Ahmadis and some Islamic fundamentalists, who in 2005 set fire to 4 villages in the area. In recent years, moreover, the Islamists have launched a campaign to boycott the products and services offered by the Ahmadis, trying to force them to leave the area.

 

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