Garut Ahmadiyah

Jul 18th, 2010, in News, by

Looking for deviants in unlikely places, the pursuit of Ahmadiyah in backwoods West Java.

Indonesian Officials Harassed Over Ahmadiyah Rumours

On 14th July 2010 hundreds of residents from a number of Muslim community organizations in Garut, West Java sealed off several Garut District Government offices, due to suspicions that some government officials had become Ahmadiyah followers.

The residents sealed off the District Manpower and Transmigration Agency, the District Staff Affairs Agency, the District Education Agency, and the District People's Representative Council (DPRD), among others.

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Protesters asked police to take firm action against government officials suspected of misusing district budget funds for Ahmadiyah activities. A riot almost occurred as protesters tried to push past security personnel blocking their way.

The protesters threatened to continue to conduct further action until Garut District Head HM Fikri sacked government officials believed to be involved with Ahmadiyah. metrotv


19 Comments on “Garut Ahmadiyah”

  1. avatar Ross says:

    Islamist savages! Need a few water-cannon out there.

  2. avatar timdog says:

    At risk of being the perfect hand-wringing liberal cliche to Ross’ absurd cartoon don’t-think-just-condemn rightist…

    There is, of course, a real story buried in here somewhere. Who put out the rumour that these politicians were Ahmadiyah? Why?

    Behind this story you would likely find a little nutshell version of a long-standing Indonesian political phenomenon – shadowy “forces” using and unleashing the more disturbing aspects of “people power”, dalang-like, for obscure and nefarious purposes.
    Why? What are the dark rivalries and conflicts within the Garut political scene? Where – and to who – did the envelopes go? What filthy and entirely irreligious deals were struck over a slow-moving and innocuous-sounding conversation with endless aqua cups and plates of sticky sweets on white sofas in the front room of house with a high gate in the best suburb of Garut?
    How much about what was really going on did the man who led the mob actually know, and what really was the motivation of the tea-towel boys he incited – money, boredom, or genuine anger, and if so, about what exactly?

    This, for some sharp, canny Indonesian journalist prepared to take the bus to Garut, could offer rich pickings…

    Of course, the alternative is just to say “rarararara! Islamist dogs! Rararara! hag ’em! Flog ’em!” which is, of course, exactly what they want you to do…

  3. avatar Oigal says:

    I know Ross’s will think people are ganging up on him as part of the great global leftist conspiracy :-). However, it a curious fact that most of these Islamist Hardline nutter groups can trace their orgins and continued existance to the thugs and murderers that supposedly saved Indonesia from from the red hordes way back when.

    The neo-nationalist and “conservative” (I use the term loosely) forces in Indonesia have as much to answer for the violence and brutality in Indonesia as does religion.

  4. avatar ET says:

    There is, of course, a real story buried in here somewhere. Who put out the rumour that these politicians were Ahmadiyah? Why?

    Behind this story you would likely find a little nutshell version of a long-standing Indonesian political phenomenon – shadowy “forces” using and unleashing the more disturbing aspects of “people power”, dalang-like, for obscure and nefarious purposes.
    Etc. etc.

    You know what? Why not send an army of anthropologists, social workers, NGO activists and canny journos to Garut to deal with the problem? This way we can be sure no action will be taken so the blablabla can go on forever and ever, all the while sparing the feelings of these poor tea-towel Islamist boys who also cannot help it they have nothing better to do than harassing other human beings.

    Islamist savages! Need a few water-cannon out there.

    Flame-throwers might be more effective.

  5. avatar timdog says:

    ET – as you apparently dislike thinking, it may be difficult for you to consider these questions, but do try:

    Is it a bad thing to ask why something happened, and to investigate what was really going on in the background?
    Here’s something that needs clearing up, and which you’ll struggle to get your head around: it’s a well-worn reactionary lie that asking “why” and taking firm frontline action against the perpetrators are somehow incompatible. Absolute nonsense. If someone commits a murder then of course that person should be arrested. But having done so, then to investigate what really happened, what the motives and the motives of the motives were, and how wider society may have played a role is generally more useful than simply saying “Evil! He’s evil! Ask no more questions!”…
    So, asking “what happened here?” doesn’t mean not taking action, if required, against the frontline perpetrators; but better yet, it also means having a much better chance of taking actions against the instigators, and the instigators behind the instigators…

    There are lots of important questions here, a key one being this: is “Ahmadiyah” becoming the new “Communist” as a failsafe slur in Indonesia to throw out to destroy the life and career of a political or business rival? If so, how did that happen and what does it mean in a wider sense?

    Of course, thinking sometimes hurts your brain, so you may prefer to cling to the security blanket of “Islamist dogs! Ask no questions! Hang ‘em! Flog ‘em!”
    Those guys with the tea towels didn’t do much thinking; when someone hissed, “hey boys, that guy in city hall is Ahmadiyah!” (or handed them an envelope) they didn’t stop to ask, is he really? And if not, why on earth would someone tell us that he was? And if he is, what exactly is it about Ahmadiyah that pisses us off so much?
    Nope, they just headed straight down there and started throwing things. You’re in good company ET…

  6. avatar Oigal says:

    Quick question for the conspiracy minded..Who (or better what) owns the controlling interests in the two well known sets of bars and dens of fun that never get harrassed by the overly religiously endowed.

  7. avatar deta says:

    Before ET jumpin in and biting timdog back 🙂 let me add a little:

    So, asking “what happened here?” doesn’t mean not taking action, if required, against the frontline perpetrators; but better yet, it also means having a much better chance of taking actions against the instigators, and the instigators behind the instigators…

    And that question can be asked not only to address this ahmadiyah issue, which is only one among too much to mention other sickening issues (especially under the governance of the latest government) – with different objects but involving the same tea towels – that lead to disintegration of the country for the interest of certain group or people. Or is it merely the question about the competence of the power holder in maintaining the integration?

  8. avatar Dirk says:

    I agree with timdog.

    Rumours and envelopes are easily spread. Remember the rumours about certain products not being halal ? Those companies almost went bankrupt until MUI gave them a halal certificate. Who was behind the rumours then ?

  9. avatar Dirk says:

    By the way, even moderate muslims would be insulted by this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knRLJp-nqSg

    And what about the following (a big hit in Belgium – a song in the Antwerp dialect about becoming horny when seeing muslim girls wearing a jilbab – hijab, because of the current lack of catholic nuns (who also look like muslim women) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE6Y781Atqg

    Come on, FPI, read this forum, it will give you a reason to boycott Belgian and Dutch products. Find out the colour of the Belgian flag, and BURN it ! Don’t forget to burn things in front of both the Dutch and the Belgian embassies.

    Belgium and Spain are about to ban the niqaab (maybe France too), so the FPI (and their cronies) once again will get high blood pressure and stage protests.

    Do these FPI people ever relax ? Do they think about other things, like a beautiful sunset, a good (non-islamic) novel, a nice (non-islamic) movie ? Do they have a romantic evening in a candle-lit restaurant with their wife or wives ?

    Do they swim naked in a secluded part of the beach at midnight ?

    Do they think that earth quakes are caused by Allah because Allah was angry ?

    How can Allah have human-like qualities like anger, jealousy, etc ?

    I pity them.

  10. avatar Lairedion says:

    Flame-throwers might be more effective.

    That’s right. Nyatein aja mereka….

    Is it a bad thing to ask why something happened, and to investigate what was really going on in the background?

    That’s what we need. Wondering who brought the matchstick while the house is burning down to the ground.

    Fact remains these thugs take matters in their own hand under the banner of “the Religion of Peace” and walk away with it every single time.

  11. avatar timdog says:

    Hey Lairedion.
    To quote you:

    That’s what we need. Wondering who brought the matchstick while the house is burning down to the ground.

    And then to quote myself inresponse:

    So, asking “what happened here?” doesn’t mean not taking action, if required, against the frontline perpetrators; but better yet, it also means having a much better chance of taking actions against the instigators, and the instigators behind the instigators…

    Get it?

    As I said before, it’s one of the oldest and stupidest lies of the reactionary forces of outrage that asking “why?” is equivalent to not taking any action against the perpetrators.
    This is the lie is typified by the low-brow right-wing press in the UK having it that if, instead of just screaming “evil sicko!”, you ask “why?” someone went on the rampage and killed some people [in order that we might try to stop it happening again], then you obviously want to give the murderer in question free foot massages and fair trade chocolate bars instead of sending them to jail.
    Obviously to think this is to be a total retard.

    Just to reiterate with one more illustrative example: it is perfectly possible to agree entirely with a referee’s decision to hand out rather a lot of yellow cards during a certain football match – in fact it is possible to wonder why more of those cards weren’t red – while at the same time asking pressing questions and soberly investigating just what the hell went on in the Dutch dressing room to make them decide on FPI-style tactics on the pitch… 😉
    Really, how can anyone not get their heads around that?

  12. avatar Lairedion says:

    timdog,

    I get it but do you get it that these thugs walk out every single time after starting a brawl (or worse)? Once they have been treated by ET’s proposed flame-throwers we can argue about why, who, what and when.

    About the game, don’t mention it, it was embarrassing. All credits to Spain. 😉

  13. avatar Hans says:

    why did I started to think about of Wyatt Earp
    Tombstone, the Town Too Tough to Die and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

    water cannons he he! and above all a bit of civil courage

  14. avatar timdog says:

    Ah, Lairedion, but that’s another issue – one that also demands some very serious questions.

    Why do they always walk away unpunished? [disregarding for the moment that this particular incident seems to have been pretty innocuous, by both general Indonesian standards, and “Muslim community organizations” standards]
    Is it because the police/authorities are:
    a) sympathetic to them?
    b) scared of them?
    c) uncertain how much popular support they might have, and unwilling to find out?
    d) generally sh*t at doing their job?

    or is it because it is the will of something/someone powerful and unseen that they go unpunished – and if so is this because of:
    a) sympathy for their outlook? or
    b) the desire to have them on hand as a useful tool?

    Or is it a combination of several or all of the above, and which permutation is the most disturbing and dangerous possibility?

    Of course, instead of addressing – or even considering – these questions, you could just head straight for the police station with a flame-thrower…

    But actually, this has all tangented off a little way from the focus of my first post. The story – a very minor one, let’s be honest – simply whetted my journalistic appetite; the suspicion immediately arose that there might well be a really fascinating back-story of local corruption and rivalry behind this – a tale in which the tea towel boys and the police were really only the bit players, and in which Ahmadiyah had no significance at all.
    That’s why I felt it might offer rich pickings for some brave, sharp young Indonesian journalist (or indeed a brave, sharp young Indonesian police officer… um… yes, I see the problem with that; let’s stick with journalist, shall we?).

    In this respect, how the tea towels have been dealt with is irrelevant – the same rich pickings will remain when the young journalist gets off the bus in Garut whether they have been incarcerated, exonerated, or incinerated (although if you do go for the flame thrower option, please save at least one senior and one junior member of the tea towellers – my hypothetical journalist will want to ask them some questions)…

    And then there’s one more key question, which I have already noted: assuming that the politicians involved aren’t actually Ahmadiyah, does this incident indicate that the suggestion that someone is Ahmadiyah can be – and is – now used to the same effect that the suggestion that someone is a secret communist has long been used in Indonesia? And if so, what implications does that have? It’s a decidedly disturbing question as far as I’m concerned…

    The football, it was funny, in a grim sort of way – and I’d predicted Netherlands to win on penalties!
    Anyway, I wanted Germany in the final. And speaking of embarrassment, there’s the matter of England. Perhaps we could borrow ET’s flame-thrower…

  15. avatar ET says:

    @ timdog

    Is it a bad thing to ask why something happened, and to investigate what was really going on in the background?

    No, actually it’s a good thing. But when it happens over and over again, it’s called recidivism and carry on investigating becomes a waste of time and means. If for every incident that shows the same pattern a new investigation should occur then we may as well stick our heads in the sand and pretend nothing has happened. Preserving law and order calls for immediate action on behalf of the perpetrators and those responsible, and once they are behind bars the intello’s may come in and start asking questions again and again and again…, for as long as they like.
    Meanwhile the streets might be a little safer.

  16. avatar ET says:

    @ Dirk

    And what about the following (a big hit in Belgium – a song in the Antwerp dialect about becoming horny when seeing muslim girls wearing a jilbab – hijab, because of the current lack of catholic nuns (who also look like muslim women) :

    Yeah, yeah ‘Met de wijven niks as last’.

  17. avatar timdog says:

    ET – talking very specifically about this particular case, I redicrect you to what I said above:

    But actually, this has all tangented off a little way from the focus of my first post. The story – a very minor one, let’s be honest – simply whetted my journalistic appetite; the suspicion immediately arose that there might well be a really fascinating back-story of local corruption and rivalry behind this – a tale in which the tea towel boys and the police were really only the bit players, and in which Ahmadiyah had no significance at all.
    That’s why I felt it might offer rich pickings for some brave, sharp young Indonesian journalist (or indeed a brave, sharp young Indonesian police officer… um… yes, I see the problem with that; let’s stick with journalist, shall we?).

    In this respect, how the tea towels have been dealt with is irrelevant – the same rich pickings will remain when the young journalist gets off the bus in Garut whether they have been incarcerated, exonerated, or incinerated (although if you do go for the flame thrower option, please save at least one senior and one junior member of the tea towellers – my hypothetical journalist will want to ask them some questions)…

    That’s all I was really getting at in my first post here.

    That other issue I flagged up – the question of whether you might now just as easily put out a rumour that someone you don’t like is Ahmadiyah, as a rumour that someone is communist – is a disturbing one that needs considering too.

    That question, and the question of what the back story in this specific Garut incident was, are the things that make this particular incident something slightly more interesting than just another generic “silly boys with tea towels around their head protest aggressively about something or other”…
    And those questions still stand to be examined regardless of whether you have hypothetically flame-thrown the protesters, jailed them, or let them go…

  18. avatar Odinius says:

    timdog said:

    is “Ahmadiyah” becoming the new “Communist” as a failsafe slur in Indonesia to throw out to destroy the life and career of a political or business rival? ”

    Communist is still an active slur in Indonesia, depending on who we’re talking about. So are all kinds of other things. In 2009, the Islamists were all up in arms that Boediono was supposedly kejawen and his wife supposedly a “secret Christian.”

    Over in the US, just a year earlier, there was a hubbub over whether Barrack Obama was a “secret Muslim.”

    These things are really meaningful to small-minded people, and inane to the rest of us. Obama and Boediono both made it to higher office, for the record.

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