FPI Attacks Ahmadiyah Mosque on Eve of Idul Adha
Bandung. The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) on Thursday night inflicted damage on a mosque run by Ahmadiyah devotees in Astana Anyar, Bandung.
Dozens of FPI members passed by the An Nasir Mosque at around 9 p.m. and witnessed Ahmadis preparing for the Islamic holiday of Idul Adha. The FPI demanded that they stop what what they were doing, but the Ahmadis refused.
“We were waiting for the cattle to be slaughtered when the FPI came,” Hendar, an Ahmadiyah adherent, said as quoted by Tempo.co. “In the beginning, they came in peace. But at 10:30 p.m. they became outraged and started destroying lamps and windows located on the first floor [of the mosque]. There were ten Ahmadis, including some women, inside the mosque.”
Muhammad Asep Abdurahman, an FPI board member with the group’s Bandung chapter, said at the Bandung Police office that the FPI had objected to the Ahmadiyah activities because such actions were prohibited by the West Java government.
Before the destruction occurred, Bandung police officers brought Ahmadiyah and FPI representatives to a police office to negotiate the situation, but nothing materialized.
“Because negotiations reached a dead end, we returned to the location to destroy [the mosque],” Asep told Sindonews.com. “I, myself, destroyed the mosque’s windows while other members did nothing.”
Asep threatened the Ahmadis and warned that they must stop their religious activities or face another attack.
Bandung Police deputy chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Dadang Hartanto noted that the police did not anticipate the attack.
“The destruction was carried out spontaneously,” Dadang said. “It was probably triggered by an Ahmadi that insulted the FPI.”
Metrotvnews.com reported that none of the FPI members were arrested by police for destroying the mosque.
West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan said that such vandalism was not justified.
“Anything that happens in our society should be solved by discourse or by legal means, not by violence,” Ahmad said. “If they carried out violence, they should be charged. Leave it to the legal enforcers to solve it.”
However, Ahmad believed that the Ahmadiyah should have complied with the gubernatorial decree that banned their religious activities.
“Violence is wrong,” he said. “But we should also think about what triggered the incident. When a sacred religion [is] being tainted, it insults [the faithful]. All sides should… understand the regulation.”