“We’re keeping a close eye on the Ahmadis and we are asking the people [of Central Sulawesi] not to resort to anarchy,” Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brig. Gen. Dewa Parsana said after a meeting with the local Ahmadiyah officials, representatives of Islamic organizations and government officials in Palu.
Dewa promised to protect Ahmadi followers from the threats of violence.
“All citizens have the right to be protected,” he said.
There are around 100 Ahmadi followers in Central Sulawesi, according to Ahmad Nadjamuddin, a representative of Palu’s Ahmadiyah community.
“We can only pray for the safety of our brothers,” Nadjamuddin said.
Over in Cianjur, West Java, however, the local chapter of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) reiterated that the only way for attacks against the minority sect’s followers to stop was for them to leave Islam and declare a new religion.
“Ahmadiyah is deviant and deviating,” said the head of Cianjur’s MUI office, Abdul Halim. “If they keep insisting to be a part of Islam, conflicts will keep on happening. Why aren’t they brave enough to stand up for what they believe in and declare themselves a religion outside of Islam?” he said.
MUI has a 2005 fatwa labeling Ahmadiyah a deviant Muslim sect and its followers as apostates.
On Sunday, MUI defended itself against critics who say the fatwa has contributed to the violence against the minority sect.
“There’s not one religion in this world that teaches violence,” Amidhan, chairman of the MUI, said on Sunday.