04/23/2012, 00.00
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West Java, Islamic extremists attacked an Ahmadi mosque

by Mathias Hariyadi
Police patrol the place of worship, targeted in a raid last April 20 a few hours after Friday prayers. There are no injuries, but the building was seriously damaged. Controversy on the security and protection provided by the authorities. For Minister of Religious Affairs the Muslim minority is heretical and should be banned.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A mob of Islamic extremists brutally attacked an Ahmadi mosque in the village of Cipakat in the town of Singaparna in Tasikmalaya regency, West Java province. Indonesian police departments have been deployed to protect the security of the place of worship and there is still a state of considerable tension in the area. The raid occurred on April 20, a few hours after Friday prayers, the holy day for Muslims. Local sources report that the attack was attended by at least 80 people affiliated with local Islamic extremist movements, the building was repeatedly hit with rocks and stones, while some of the assailants stormed into the building destroying objects. After the attack there were no injuries, but the structure was seriously damaged.

Human rights activists and members of civil society criticize the actions of the police, unable to "block" the attackers and defend the Ahmadi mosque, belonging to the Muslim religious minority considered heretical by Sunni - and official - Islam because they do not consider Mohammed as last prophet. However, the deputy spokesman of the National Police Gen. Muhammad Taufik rejected the accusations, adding that the crowd wanted to protest against the community for its "illegal" teachings and a practice of faith that "deviates" from the traditional doctrine.

The controversy was sparked by the delivery of a formal letter of protest from the Baitul Rahim Mosque of Representatives, which urged the protesters to attack the Ahmadi place of worship.

Djoko Suyanto, the Minister with responsibility for legal affairs and security condemned the incident and confirmed that a full investigation is underway to shed light on the matter. His words, however, have not placated public opinion and according activists the comment is not "genuine" but an empty promise, devoid of any concrete action to stop the violence.

The Minister for Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali has instead issued a stern warning against the Ahmadi minority, "inviting" them to respect Indonesian law. The reference is to a joint ministerial decree dating back to 2008, which outlaws the practice of worship for religious minorities and prohibits any form of spreading the faith. Unlike others, minister Ali is not seen as impartial compared to his predecessors, and has repeatedly called the Ahmadi movement an "offense" that must be banished from the country.



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