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Jakarta Post

Ahmadiyah mosque shut down by Jakarta

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 9, 2015   /  05:33 pm
Ahmadiyah mosque shut down by Jakarta Sealed: A motorcyclist passes the An Nur Ahmadiyah Mosque in Bukit Duri Tanjakan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday. The mosque has been sealed by the authorities, supposedly because of building permit violations.(JP/Seto Wardhana) (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Sealed: A motorcyclist passes the An Nur Ahmadiyah Mosque in Bukit Duri Tanjakan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday. The mosque has been sealed by the authorities, supposedly because of building permit violations.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

Officials from the South Jakarta administration and the municipality'€™s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) sealed the An Nur Ahmadiyah mosque in Bukit Duri Tanjakan, Tebet, on Wednesday morning, affixing a red banner that stated the mosque had been officially sealed by the Jakarta administration.

The closure follows a June 12 incident in which a crowd of locals blocked the Ahmadis from performing their Friday prayers at the mosque, forcing them to fulfill their religious obligations in the street.

Tri, a local Islamic preacher who was present that day, said he and other local residents had repeatedly protested to various municipal officials about the presence of the mosque.

'€œToday, we finally saw the result of our efforts to report [the Ahmadis] to local officials,'€ Tri told The Jakarta Post.

He claimed that a majority of residents in the area had for years opposed the presence of the Ahmadiyah community in their neighborhood and objected to the presence of the mosque.

'€œIt is a private house, but they use it to perform Friday prayers,'€ Tri said, adding that he deemed the
Ahmadis guilty of heresy.

Meanwhile, South Jakarta Spatial Planning Agency head Syukria said that the mosque had been closed as it violated a number of bylaws on building management and spatial planning.

'€œWe sealed the building because it was not used in an appropriate way,'€ he said at the site, adding that the mosque violated Bylaw No. 7/2010 on buildings, Bylaw No. 1/2014 on detailed spatial planning and Gubernatorial Regulation No. 128/2012 on building construction enforcement.

The Ahmadiyah community, meanwhile, questioned the South Jakarta municipality'€™s action, claiming to have received no detailed explanation of the legal basis for the closure of their mosque.

'€œThey should have explained which of our activities are viewed as having violated those regulations,'€ said Yendra, a member of the Ahmadiyah community.

The Ahmadis, Yenda said, had been conducting religious activities at the mosque since the 1970s without receiving any complaints until the protest last month.

'€œThe municipality acted against us because they were under pressure from intolerant groups,'€ Yendra said.

A number of personnel from Tebet Police were also present at the closure. Tebet Police chief comr. I Ketut Sudarma said the move was necessary to uphold public order in the area and prevent escalation of the prolonged spat between Ahmadis and residents.

'€œIt was necessary to seal the building, as residents have long protested the existence of the mosque and the Ahmadis'€™ activities,'€ Sudarma told the Post.

He insisted that he had no authority to intervene in the dispute, saying that it was not the right time for the police to act.

'€œFor now, we will only monitor the situation and provide security. We will only take action if a physical clash occurs,'€ he said.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which once issued an edict declaring the Ahmadis heretics, has repeatedly urged the government to ban the Ahmadiyah sect because it deviates from the teachings of mainstream Sunni Islam.

Shia Muslims have faced similar treatment to the Ahmadiyah. Many regencies, cities and provinces have banned both groups, and thousands of Ahmadis and Shias have been forced to flee several areas, including Madura. (alm)

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