Ahmad Heryawan: West Java Governor. (Antara/Agus Bebeng)
West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan said Monday that provocateurs were behind attacks against an Ahmadiyah mosque in Singaparna, Tasikmalaya, West Java, on Friday morning.
Ahmad said that according to testimony of Islam-based organizations members who staged a protest in front of the mosque on Friday, the members had only intended to convey their stance rejecting Ahmadis praying in their own mosque.
“They didn’t mean to throw rocks at the mosque. But suddenly, a group on unknown men started to throw things, provoking the protesters to do so,” he said after opening an interfaith dialogue at the Gedung Sate gubernatorial office in Bandung, West Java.
He called on all parties involved in the dispute regarding the Ahmadiyah sect to remain calm and to stay away from provocative acts.
The governor also called on Ahmadiyah followers to comply with 12 points in the Joint Ministerial Decree (SKB) signed in 2008, including interacting with other Muslims when praying.
Ahmadis’ reluctant to pray in other mosques and to welcome non-members to pray in their mosques is deemed as one of the factors which caused prolonged conflicts between Ahmadiyah followers and mainstream Muslims.
“There is no Ahmadiyah mosque. Ahmadiyah mosque should also be a mosque for all Muslims,” Ahmad emphasized.
Handojo Oyong of the West Java Interfaith Dialogue Forum (FKUB) pointed out that uncertainty in law enforcement had hampered the forum efforts to promote interfaith harmony.
West Java Vice Governor Yusuf Macan Effendi noted that religious conflicts occurred in one-tenth of a total 26 regencies in the province.
“The conflicts happen in those particular areas only,” Yusuf said.
Hundreds of people vandalized the Baiturahman mosque in Tasikmalaya, which belongs to the Ahmadiyah community last week, but no casualties were reported. The Ahmadiyah sect is deemed heretical by most mainstream Muslim organizations, resulting in perpetual attacks against the community across the country. (swd)