08/10/2020, 15.34
INDONESIA
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Sunni radicals attack Shias during wedding vigil in Central Java

by Mathias Hariyadi

The victims, who were guests of a Sunni family, were taking part in Midodareni prayers. Three people were injured, including a 15-year-old boy. The police failed to prevent the attack. For the extremists, a Shia ritual was taking place. Indonesia’s main Islamic organisation slammed the act of intolerance.

Solo (AsiaNews) – Sunni extremists attacked the home of a family hosting a group of Shias taking part in “Midodareni” prayers. The latter are held on the eve of a wedding, and are attended by neighbours and relatives of the bridge and groom. The guests receive some small gifts.

In this particular case, the ceremony was held at the home of Assegaf bin Jufri, a Sunni, in Metrodana, a village on the outskirts of Surakarta (Solo), in Central Java.

A mob of about 100 people attacked the ceremony yesterday resulting in minor injuries for two adults and a 15-year-old boy.

Despite “negotiations" between the host family, the police and the attackers, the attack went ahead.

The vandals interrupted the vigil shouting the Shiism is not "authentic Islam” and damaged the house and some vehicles.

According to one eyewitness, the Islamic radicals carried out their attack after rumours spread in the village that a Shia ritual was taking place in the house, not the Midodareni.

Central Java Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (GP-Ansor), a youth group linked to Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, strongly condemned the act of intolerance.

"Nobody can take the law into their own hands", said GP-Ansor chief Sholahudin Aly.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Islamic nation. About one million (0.5 per cent) out of 267 million are Shia. Sunnis represent 90 per cent of the total.

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