Indonesia. A Little Story of Ahmadiyya in Sukabumi. Mosque Burned, Madrasah Sealed

Asep Saepudin in front of the burned mosque.

Sukabumi – It was not difficult to find the residence of Asep Saepudin (74) when he arrived at Parakansalak Village/Village RT 02 RW 03 Parakansalak District, Sukabumi Regency. The people immediately called ‘Pak RW’ and pointed to an alley way into which a barbershop was located. When the door of a house with green nuances was knocked, a friendly smile appeared from behind the door of a white-haired man wearing only an undershirt, he then invited detikJabar to enter. “Please come in, I just came from the garden. Wait a minute,” he said kindly to detikJabar last weekend.

Asep had received international attention in 2008, when the Al Furqon mosque was burned down by a group of people. According to detikJabar's search, news about the burning of the mosque was covered by foreign media such as The New York Times, LA Times and Reuters.

Asep is an Ahmadiyah figure, he served as head of Ahmadiyah in Parakansalak. He also witnessed how the mosque built by his congregation was set on fire by a group of people so that part of the building was destroyed, and even a number of items were also burnt.

"If I am now the head of the Congregation, the head of the Ahmadiyya Congregation, there are around 220 people with children who are in our congregation. They live in this one village," said Asep starting the conversation with detikJabar.

Asep then told about the burning of the Al Furqon Mosque in 2008, detikJabar briefly summarized the story. Asep himself seemed to still remember every detail of the incident.

"The chronology is istighosah, joint prayer from the results of the Istigosah decision there is one mandate of demands through the Muspika. One of them is that the Ahmadihah congregation cannot disseminate teachings, must join in associating in carrying out worship with others. It's like that," said Asep.

"Under the (demand) there is a threat that if we don't carry it out, we will take action, April 27, 2008. We received the decision on Saturday night, that Friday evening we were summoned by Muspika to accept the demand, we were not immediately accept, we first discuss it with the management, what attitude should we have," continued Asep.

At that time Asep gave his attitude, he denied that Ahmadiyah was spreading its teachings. He and the congregation only carry out coaching internally to its members.

"Our attitude is yes, of course at that time we did not disseminate understanding, only internally coaching members every night, every week. To children. Teaching religious activities at the mosque, when the demand letter was received we replied, we are part of the Indonesian Ahmadiyya congregation which has a legal entity in accordance with the decision of the minister of justice. And we demand that, nationally the Ahmadiyya congregation is in a state of process. In the first place, the Ahmadiyya congregation will be disbanded, we are waiting for the central decision regarding this," explained Asep

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