FPI Forces Ahmadiyah Mosque to Close in West Java

By Camelia Pasandaran on The Jakarta Globe:

Hard-line Islamists shuttered an Ahmadiyah mosque after reportedly threatening to burn it down on Sunday in the latest example of religious intolerance to plague West Java.

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) sealed a mosque in Sukatali village, in Sumedang, earlier this week after accusing the small congregation of breaking a controversial decree barring Ahmadiyah Muslims from proselytizing their religion. The decree, signed in 2008 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Attorney General’s Office, with the support of the West Java governor’s office, has long been used as an excuse to oppress the minority religion.

Firdaus Mubarik, spokesman for the Indonesia Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI), said the congregation was doing little more than holding regular prayer services.

“They only used [the mosque] to pray,” he said. “It had not even been used for Koran study groups.”

This particular mosque, which served the village’s 34-person Ahmadiyah community, has existed since the 1940s, according to Sukatali village chief Ade Ratna Wulan.

“They have been here for generations,” Ade told the local newspaper Kabar Priangan.”I don’t know since when, but a 70-year old Ahmadiyah leader said that when he was born here, the mosque already existed.”

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Categories: Asia, Indonesia

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