Archipelago

Ahmadis, Shiites reject
award for SBY

The Ahmadiyah and Shia communities in East Java are urging the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a non-profit organization established by US Jewish leader Rabbi Arthur Schneier, to reconsider its plan to award President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for the religious tolerance in Indonesia.

The leader of Sampang Shiites in refuge, Iklil Al Milal, said Yudhoyono did not deserve the award because he had neglected the fate of some 300 Shiites who had become victims to violence carried out by an intolerant mass.

"We are living as if in prison. We no longer get food rations and there has been no security guarantee from the state," Iklil said at a forum rejecting the award for Surabaya on Wednesday.

Speaking at the same forum, head of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation's Surabaya branch, Arif Akhmad Hakim said the President also did not take any action against violence toward Ahmadis in various regions.

"The number of violent cases in the name of religion keeps increasing. There have been 500 cases of such violence taking place since 2005," Arif said.

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