07/16/2005, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Indonesia: Thousands of Islamic extremists against the Ahmadis.

In West Java, a compound of this Muslim community – held to be heretical – is attacked; local authorities "transfer" the faithful elsewhere.

Bogor (AsiaNews/JP) – Some 10,000 people from the extremist Indonesian Muslim Solidarity group attacked a compound of the Ahmadiyah Indonesia Congregation (JAI) yesterday afternoon. Following the attack, about 500 JAI followers were forced by local authorities to leave the building where they were gathered, which is in Bogor, West Java.

Armed with stones and batons, the attackers broke into the compound, known as Mubarak campus, causing serious damage to buildings: although more than 390 police officers were on guard outside the compound, the Muslim extremists set the women's dormitory on fire.

The Indonesian Muslim Solidarity demanded that JAI members leave the area within two hours. Habib Abdurrahman Ismail Assegaf – coordinator of the solidarity group – said "Ahmadiyah's teachings are not in accordance with Islam". This community, which originated in Pakistan, describes itself as Muslim, but it is held to be heretical: among other things, its followers do not recognise Mohammed as the ultimate Prophet; they are subject to persecution from factions of integralists in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In 1980, Indonesia's Council of Ulemas issued an edict prohibiting the Ahmadiyah teachings.

After negotiations between local police officials and political authorities, the Ahmadi followers agreed to leave the compound. In the late afternoon, four lorries transported them to the office of the Chief Prosecutor.

"Our religious teachings are legitimate," said Abdul Basit, one of Ahmadiyah's leaders. "This is a human rights violation. We will ask the President (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) to do something." In Indonesia, there are around 200,000 Ahmadis.

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