Indonesia. Ahmadiyya. In search of sustainable interfaith harmony.

Members of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI) pray on the veranda of the Nur Khilafat Mosque in Ciamis, West Java, on June 26, 2014.

Local authorities sealed the mosque and hung posters detailing the ban on JAI members using the mosque. (Courtesy of Perkumpulan 6211/File)

Syera Anggreini Buntara (The Jakarta Post) PREMIUM Jakarta   ●   Fri, December 17, 2021

It has been almost 16 years that the Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) community has been staying at the Wisma Transito shelter in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara as internally displaced persons (IDPs) after their expulsion from their homes in West Lombok, East Lombok, and North Lombok by an intolerant group.

Over the last few years, there has been progress in delivery of public services to them, including provision of ID cards, BPJS health insurance coverage and Keluarga Harapan social assistance for the poor. Currently, some of the Ahmadis have left the shelter and bought new homes, although 43 displaced families remain in the shelter in poor conditions.

Beyond access to public services, more should be done to ensure sustainable interfaith harmony, which will allow minority groups such as Ahmadiyah to live in peace wherever they wish across the country. Indeed, no conflict involving local communities and the Ahmadiyah followers in Mataram has been heard. Instead, clashes erupted in neighboring regencies such as North Lombok, West Lombok and East Lombok.

While the Mataram city government deserves our appreciation for sheltering the IDPs, there needs to be a shift in understanding interfaith harmony not merely as the absence of conflicts, but how to actively ensure long-lasting interfaith harmony.

This article was published in thejakartapost.com with the title “Ahmadiyah: In search of sustainable interfaith harmony”. Click to read: https://www.thejakartapost.com/opinion/2021/12/16/ahmadiyah-in-search-of-sustainable-interfaith-harmony.html.

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