Ahmadiyah Lombok

Feb 6th, 2006, in News, by

Ahmadiyah homes attacked in Lombok.

A number of homes inhabitated by members of the Jemaat Ahmadiyah sect in West Lombok regency, West Nusa Tenggara province were attacked over the weekend. A local Muslim religious leader said Muslims in Lombok could not tolerate the presence of a group that held unorthodox views, and added:

We call on Ahmadiyah to immediately decide whether they want to return to real Islamic teachings, or if they don’t, maybe just call Ahmadiyah a religion so it will not disrupt Muslims here.

Dozens of homes were set on fire although no deaths or injuries are reported to have occured. Local police are said to have stood by while the torching of the houses progressed and they made no arrests. After the attack about 120 of the Ahmadiyah faithful were evacuated to shelters in Lombok’s capital, Mataram. Some reports have it that several of them were threatening to seek asylum in western countries.

In reference to this last point the Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, said:

The reason to seek asylum is baseless. The decision made by Ahmadiyah followers may only reflect the emotion of people who felt that they were not protected.

As mentioned in Muslim Radicalism in 2005 violence targeted against the Indonesian branch of the Ahmadiyah sect has been increasing in recent times and is another of the less desirable consequences of the freeing up of political and social life since the fall of Suharto. The sect holds that Mohammed was not the last prophet but rather the last was a Pakistani, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. This is of course regarded as heresy by mainstream Sunni Muslims.

Some reactions to the events in Lombok came from the tireless defender of freedom of religion, Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, who said:

The problem is the government is afraid. It doesn’t have the courage to uphold the Constitution. How can we be a great (nation) without upholding the Constitution?

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin also chimed in with his usual blathering about how true Muslims never commit violence:

It was an un-Islamic act. No religion justifies violence as a means to resolve differences in faiths.

Ahmadiyah Indonesia spokesman, Syamsir Ali, said:

We live in a country where every criminal should be arrested and put on trial, but none of the attackers here were arrested

Lombok could be another Bali, a great success story in tourism, a paradise for sun-seekers and foreign families seeking a safe place to holiday. Unfortunately though it is inhabitated largely by Muslims.

Feb 07, 2006. Four people have been arrested by the Lombok police for their role in the weekend violence. Previous attacks against the sect’s members had gone unpunished so this appears to be a positive sign.

The arrests come after the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Saturday:

In this country, there is no such thing as religions that are recognized or not recognized by the state. The Constitution guarantees the freedom of every citizen to have a religion and to practice their faith. The state shall never interfere in any religious teachings. The duty of the state is to protect, serve and facilitate the building and maintenance of places of worship and to encourage citizens to become good followers of their religions.

Not true in reality but at least he is thinking on the right lines.

Various other reactions to the violence from important people include the National Police spokesman Brigadier General Anton Bachrul Alam who said:

Anarchy is a form of crime … We will search the perpetrators, detain them and bring them to trial.

Nahdlatul Ulama chairman Hasyim Muzadi said:

Islam never teaches or instructs someone to perform violent acts against other people who have a different opinion, even if the person is a kafir (infidel).

Yes, Ahmadiyah deviates (from Islamic teaching), but solving the matter by using violence is not right. If the National Police could not (act against such attacks) or lack personnel, they can ask our help.

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsudin:

I regret and condemn the destruction of Ahmadiyah members’ property. In this case, I completely agree if the attackers are punished.

16th June 2006. Refugees belonging to the Ahmadiyah sect in Lombok face the prospect of being trans-migrated.

The 130 odd sect members, who had taken refuge in a building in Mataram city, fled violent attacks from orthodox Muslims earlier this year. Those who object to the presence of the Ahmadiyah faithful asked that the sect members not live as a separate community with their own mosques. However the Ahmadiyah people rejected this and now seem likely metrotv to move to another island, Sulawesi or Borneo.

Head of the Transmigration office in Mataram, Imbang Saharudin, accompanied by local Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) boss, Mahali Fikry, said that transmigration was the final solution to the problem.

But 30 heads of Ahmadiyah households fiercely rejected the possibility of moving. They continued their demand that the government be responsible in protecting them from attacks wherever they choose to live. Some of them returned to their village, Ketapang, last month, on the quiet, but security forces there were unable to offer guarantees on their safety from attack by residents there.

9th July 2006. The Ahmadiyah people in Lombok want to file for asylum abroad.

In another chapter of a long-running story, reports say metrotv that 195 (or 165, depending on which report you read) members of the Ahmadiyah sect in the tropical paradise of Lombok, who had recently been advised to transmigrate to another part of Indonesia to escape the persecution they are subjected to by some Muslims on the island, plan to seek asylum in another country because they claim that the Indonesian state is unable or unwilling to protect them.

Samsir Ali, a leader of the Ahmadiyah in Lombok said that 51 families were currently sharing the same room in a refugee centre and that these people had repeatedly tried to return to their villages, only to be attacked by some people there. The police did not protect his people, he said, and added that the decision to seek asylum was almost final. He would not mention which country he was thinking about however.

The next day the Minister of Religion, who is known to dislike the group, is recorded as regretting the news: tempo

The government has tried to reassure everyone so that they don’t do this.
(Pemerintah sudah berusaha meyakinkan semua agar tak melakukannya)

He also expressed disbelief that any country would be willing to take them:

How could there be any country that would take them?
(Kok ada negara yang mau menerima mereka.)

In any case they had no good reason to attempt to flee to another country, the government had guaranteed their safety, he said.

24th July 2006. The Jamaah Ahmadiyah sect in Lombok are meeting with foreign diplomats in order to gain asylum in another country.

About 150 people from Ketapang’s Ahmadiyah congregation, members of an Islamic sect that recognises another prophet after Muhammad, were driven out of their homes in February of this year and the group of 32 families has since then been living in a shelter in the West Nusa Tenggara capital city of Mataram. They have made repeated attempts to return to their village only to be rebuffed by angry Muslims there, who regard them as heretics. Last week they made it be known that they were likely to seek asylum in another country and reports tempo coming out today suggest that they have already approached the Australian consulate in Bali.

Syamsir Ali, a leader of the group, said he had met with the Vice-Consul, Mr Adelaide Worcester, and claims to have received a positive response.

We asked for help, at the least they said they would talk about it with the government.
(Kami minta tolong, setidaknya mereka berbicara dengan pemerintah.)

But, he said ranesi to Radio Netherlands, a formal application of asylum had not yet been made, and that in the coming days he would also approach the German and French consulates in Bali over the matter.

The Jakarta Post also carried some Jamaah Ahmadiyah related news. Zainal Abidin, another leader, was interviewed and complained of the situation:

We’ve been living in this shelter for almost six months. We are displaced in our own country. We’re Indonesians too, and we want to be free.

Ahmad said children from the group were being singled out for discrimination at their new school. Ten children, all first graders, received a single piece of paper instead of the normal school report books at the end of term, he said. At the top of the page, a teacher wrote:

Grades of an Ahmadiyah child.

Zainal goes on:

We’re being discriminated against. In the shelter, we’re not free, and people stare at us suspiciously at the market.

Conditions are poor at the shelter and Zainal hoped the government would send the group back to their homes soon. Sahidin, an Ahmadiyah follower, said he, his wife and four children were now dependent on government aid to survive. The family’s savings had been exhausted long ago and he could not work on his farm while he remained at the shelter.

July 25th 2006. Jemaah Ahmadiyah Lombok appear tempo to be having less luck in their efforts to meet with representatives of countries other than Australia. On Monday the group received word that the German consul was not in residence in Bali and would not be able to meet with them. The Japanese consulate, as well, advised them to go directly to the Japanese embassy in Jakarta.

Some of those from the Jemaah Ahmadiyah who had traveled to Bali have returned to Lombok and some have gone on to Jakarta, to continue their efforts to meet with foreign diplomats.

Meanwhile the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said that the moves by the Ahmadiyah sect to seek foreign asylum were a publicity stunt to highlight its grievances, adding that its members would never gain acceptance by mainstream Muslims. MUI chairman Amidhan said he understood that the members felt there was a lack of state protection for them to practice their beliefs.

If the Ahmadiyah members feel that the government does not make them feel safe, maybe they think they could find it somewhere else.

He said there was little chance that the members would ever gain acceptance in Indonesia because their beliefs were condemned by most Muslims. There are about 200,000 Ahmadiyah people in the country.

Amidhan said the MUI, which issued a fatwa against the group in 1980, could not be held responsible for the plight of Ahmadiyah members.

We only decide what is deviant or not. It is up to the government and the public to take action.

He added that he could understand the actions of those angered by what they considered Ahmadiyah’s heretical beliefs.

Eviction of Ahmadiyah members only takes place because people feel offended by what the group believes in.

February 7th 2007. The Jakarta Post says about twenty members of the Ahmadiyah Islamic sect marched to the provincial legislative council in Mataram, Lombok, to demand a return to their homes. The protesters, mostly women and children from Ketapang in Lingsar district, West Lombok regency, are currently living in a transmigration center in Mataram.

We want to return home. We are tired of living in the shelter.

said one protester, Munaroh.

She said life in the shelter had become harder since the West Lombok regency administration stopped providing the Ahmadiyah members with living allowances in January.

They say the provincial administration will provide assistance, but we have yet to receive any help.

There are 155 Ahmadiyah members taking refuge at the Mataram transmigration center. They have been there since February 2005, when they were forced from their homes in Ketapang by residents opposed to the supposedly un-Islamic nature of the sect’s teachings.

20th April 2007. The leader of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Saiful Muslim, has requested the governor of Lombok island ban the Ahmadiyah sect. This request is the result of a meeting between the MUI, NU, Muhammadiyah, Nahdhatul Wathan, and leaders of Islamic boarding schools on the island, where it was agreed that Ahmadiyah could not be tolerated any longer if they insisted on referring to themselves as Muslims. Saiful said:

There’s no time for dialogue with Ahmadiyah followers anymore.

Saiful said the Ahmadiyah people should declare a new religion.

This new flurry of activity on the Ahmadiyah front in Lombok seems to have been caused by a broadcast on the Lombok branch of Radio Republik Indonesia in which the MUI Mataram leader Tuan Guru Haji Muhtar condemned Ahmadiyah as heretics because he had read some of their literature in which it was stated that the Ahmadiyah sect believed that Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified, in contradiction to Islamic orthodoxy. As a result of this broadcast the Ahmadiyah sect plans to take legal action against RRI. tempo

In response to the demand from MUI the first assistant to the Governor of Lombok, Sirojul Munir, said the governor was waiting on a decision from the High Court.

Sirojul Munir also said that it was currently being debated whether to forbid the leader of Ahmadiyah in NTB and NTT, Syamsir Ali, from entering NTB.

There are currently 137 Ahmadiyah people still in a refugee centre. mediaindo

May 15th 2007. Deputy governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) province, H.B Thamrin Rayes, says the Ahmadiyah people holed up at the Majeluk transit centre in Mataram are free to apply for asylum to Australia if they want to. The government couldn’t forcibly relocate them to another part of Indonesia, he said. antara

3 Comments on “Ahmadiyah Lombok”

  1. Ulf says:

    I say, let’s kill the Muslims anywhere in the world. We have more nukes than anybody else, so let’s cleanse this place from such a danger….

    The reason for such religion cleansing? Well, it is obvious that Muslim “values” are not fit in the world as on one hand they preach non-violent behaviours, whilst on the other they wield a sword to behead those who do not accept the Muslim beliefs.

    Does it sound fair? Hell no! It does not sound fair at all. But if we used the same reasoning of so many Muslims, the world would be “religiously cleansed”, just to end up killing amongst themselves, as both, Shia and Sunni keep on doing everywhere they live together.

    I propose a better world: A world of races and of religions. Stay a your side and live in whatever way you want, but also make sure you do not come to my side. I shall make the effor of not going to yours. That’s how everybody will be able to be truly happy.

  2. Marcus says:

    Hey Ulf, you provoke to “Kill the Muslims anywhere in the world” and then you said “I propose a better world”. What a bad joke. Read more and reflect, chap. If not, get a life.

  3. Dukee says:

    I think for this problem is about how people in lombok can’t respect each other, why they have attack each other if the other not disturb them. I think with this attack maybe they make themself like a good people but I think they just have short thinking, not think with logical, I think no religion teach their people to attack the other and also attack that only because of different religion or what they believe.

    So my sugestion is for lombok people is to look to the mirror is they already be a good people like what their religion teach, and please think first before do something. And for ahmadiyah people I always pray and I felt sorry, hope I can help you all and keep in what you believe because god will always help you and listen to you.

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