Monday, February 7, 2011

Top figures, NGOs gather, condemn anti-Ahmadiyah violence

Mon, 02/07/2011
3:33 AM
Top figures, NGOs gather, condemn anti-Ahmadiyah violence
Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Dozens of prominent figures gathered Monday with NGO representatives to condemn the fatal Sunday attack on Ahamdiyah followers in Banten, which claimed 3 lives and injured six others.

Among the figures were senior antigraft activist Todung Mulya Lubis, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) analyst Usman Hamid, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) chairwoman Erna Ratnaningsih, Indonesia Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP) secretary general Johanes Hariyanto, lawyer Taufik Basari and Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) deputy executive director Choirul Anam.

Others were from NGOs including Imparsial, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Wahid Institute, the Ma’arif Institute, and the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam).

Zafrullah Ahmad Pontoh, a spokesman for Ahmadiyah Indonesia, also joined the conference.

“This attack was not the first of its kind. I’m afraid it will not be the last either. The government has repeatedly voiced concerns and made promises but no significant change has been accomplished,” Todung said.

Taufik said the government’s negligence to prevent the attack was effectively facilitating violence.

“The government, especially the religious affairs minister, instead made policies like the joint ministerial decree, which tends to ‘legitimate’ violence against Ahmadiyah followers,” he said.

In 2008, a joint ministerial decree was issued to ban Ahmadiyah from propagating its teachings, citing theological differences between it and mainstream Islam.

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