Police set to safeguard
Festive fasting: Residents flocked to the main thoroughfares in Semarang, Central Java, during the dugderan parade on Monday to welcome the Ramadhan fasting month which starts on Wednesday. The dugderan parade, a traditional Semarang way to welcome Ramadhan, consisted of various warak endog effigies, golden cart and floats. (JP/Ainur Rohmah)
The Bandung City Police have prepared its officers to safeguard four Ahmadiyah mosques in the city during the Ramadhan fasting month.
“We do not want any vandalism to take place again,” Bandung City Police deputy chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Awal Chairuddin said on Monday.
There are about 9,000 Ahmadis in Bandung and the four mosques are located in the Astana Anyar and Cibeunying Kaler districts.
Awal added there would be open and closed security for the mosques. In addition to stationing police officers in the mosques, there would also be patrols around the mosques.
The Ahmadi congregation at An Nasir mosque in Astana Anyar failed to perform the Idul Fitri prayer in 2012 because the preacher was taken to the police station.
Awal said the security was a routine measure to provide protection to the public. “Whether there is request or not, we have to provide security,” he said.
The police had also approached various groups who had often stormed Ahmadis’ mosques.
“We’ve approached those groups so that they obey the law,” he said.
Separately, spokesman of the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI) for Central Bandung region, Dedi Suherman, said the congregation would perform tarawih night prayers during Ramadhan.
When asked when the prayers would begin, Dedi said the congregation would follow the government’s announcement of the official start of Ramadhan.
“We will notify the authorities prior to performing tarawih prayers because it will involve plenty of congregation members. We hope to be able to pray peacefully in this blessed month,” he said.
While Ahmadis claim themselves to be Muslims, mainstream Islam considers the minority sect to have deviated from basic Islamic teachings by recognizing Ahmadiyah founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet.
Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad to be the final prophet.
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