Abdul Basit, Amir Jamaat Indonesia
On 14 August 2021, three days prior to Indonesia’s Independence Day, our newly established mosque in Balai Harapan village, Tempunak District, Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia was sealed by the authorities of the Sintang Regency government and the Regional Leadership Communication Forum including the personnel from Police officers. The sealing was the aftermath of the demands of the Sintang District Muslim Alliance which rejected the existence of the Jamaat in their region, whereas, in fact, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya has been established in Sintang Regency since 2005. They urged and warned the government to ban Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Balaigana within three days, otherwise, they themselves will take action to stop all the Jamaat activities.
Prior to that, the persecution and practice of intolerance against Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya had actually been institutionalised long ago by the Sintang District Government. In 2005, our first mosque in Balaigana was demolished by the mobs and our local mubaligh at that time had to suffer injuries during the incident. On 29 April 2021, the Regency Government issued a Joint Decree (SKB) of the Regent of Sintang, the head of the Sintang district attorney’s office and the head of the office of the ministry of religion of the Sintang Regency regarding warnings and orders to the members and office bearers of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sintang to stop all the Jamaat activities.
We have coordinated with our Legal Committee to take the proper actions required. Currently, members of the Jamaat in Balaigana (76 persons) have to perform daily prayers at home due to the situation.
On 3 September 2021, after Friday prayers, there were attacks and destruction of mosques and other buildings belonging to Jamaat of Balaigana, a local Jamaat located in Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan.
The attacks and destruction were carried out by a group calling itself the Alliance of Muslims. On the day the attack occurred, security forces from the police and military had been already there to handle it, but even though there were more than 300 personnel, the security forces were powerless against the rioters, who numbered no more than 100 people.
One mosque was badly damaged and one warehouse building was burned but alhamdulillah there were no casualties or injuries.
Prior to the attack and destruction that took place, on 14 August 2021, the local government had previously sealed our mosque and banned other activities in Balaigana at the urging of the Alliance of Muslims group. We have tried to ask for security protection from the police, but unfortunately, the attacks continue to occur. Many national figures condemned the incident, such as the Minister of Religion, the Coordinating Minister for Law and Security and several members of the People’s Representative Council and various other elements of civil society which were exposed by the national media.
Currently, alhamdulillah, security is conducive, but we remain alert to any possible attack. We will try to take legal action and insha-Allah, on 5 September 2021, we will submit a report to the National Human Rights Commission as well as report criminal acts to the Criminal Investigation Unit at the police headquarters in Jakarta.
(Report courtesy of the Central Indonesian Desk)