Action is urged against the Indonesian Islamic State (NII, Negara Islam Indonesia) movement.
The Jakarta Post says former members of a religious group affiliated with the Indonesian Islamic State (NII, Negara Islam Indonesia) movement urged the Bandung chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to issue a warning about the congregation.
The former members recently went to the MUI Bandung chapter on Jl. Martadinata in Bandung, West Java, asking it to alert the public to aggressive tactics used by the movement.
Dede Ahmad, 34, a former NII member, said he was worried over increasingly strident efforts to collect donations, supposedly to establish an Islamic state.
Now they are aggressively campaigning in Depok (West Java) and Jakarta. We don't want to see them thrive again in Bandung like seven years ago
Dede once led an NII chapter in the area of Pulogadung, Jakarta from 2000 to 2003. Dede said it was difficult to track what the money was actually being used for.
Such methods used to be applied by my colleagues to gather funds to be transferred to the organization
He added that as an NII leader he had to pay Rp 16 million ($1,700) per month collected from members.
The NII movement is known to recruit new members through prayer groups at public and university mosques. Each member is obliged to pay a monthly contribution while those who do not have been known to be punished by being isolated in rooms. Fearing punishment, many members have ended up resorting to theft, deceit and blackmail to get the money, it is said.
Egi Rahmadi, 25, whose younger brother had been an NII member, said monitoring of prayer groups on university campuses should be stepped up because the NII gained new members through religious mentoring.
My brother entered NII through an introduction at a campus prayer activity.
Responding to the complaints, Rafani Achyar, general secretary of MUI's West Java chapter, said both security officers and government agents had been unable to determine who was behind the NII movement. (Panji Gumilang of Al Zaytun has in the past been pointed at as a leader.) Thus it was difficult for MUI to attempt to deal with it.
Rafani said MUI had not remained silent, however. He said the organization had held activities within the last year in both East and West Java to explain its views against the establishment of an Islamic state (of (West) Java, or South Sulawesi, the areas where NII is traditionally strongest) within the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.
We are encountering difficulties following up on this case due to the absence of evidence.
Hedi Muhammad of the "Deviation Movement Investigation Team" of the "Indonesian Muslim Followers and Ulema Forum" said that as of 2000, at least 260 former NII members had repented and were ready to testify in court against the group.
The problem is that there should have been a case report from the police at the court. No investigation of the case has been conducted by the West Java police thus far.