Indonesian Hardliners Rally Against Bogor Church’s ‘Arrogance’

By webadmin on 01:24 pm Nov 30, 2011
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Ulma Haryanto

Islamic hardliners rallied in front of the Bogor City administration on Wednesday in support of the mayor’s internationally condemned decision to revoke a building permit for the GKI Yasmin church.

“Members of the press, please cover the rally by Bogor Muslims in support of the Mayor’s decision to revoke GKI Yasmin’s permit and stop GKI Yasmin’s arrogance,” Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) secretary general Muhammad Al Khaththath said in a text message to the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.

Al Khaththath said the rally would begin with a communal prayer at Bogor’s City Hall at 11.30 a.m. before the group marched to the Bogor City Council legislature.

Around 100 people were involved in the march, a local journalist said.

Al Khaththath said Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto’s decision to revoke the church’s permit was his “discretion as a mayor in accordance with the law.”

The city has been enforcing a blockade of the GKI Yasmin church despite rulings from the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman that worshippers be allowed to use the church house.

In mid-October, the Ombudsman commission sent a letter to the president and Supreme Court reporting Diani’s continued defiance of legal orders to unseal the embattled church. The same letter was also sent to the House of Representatives.

A video circulating on Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia’s Web site, meanwhile, showed the group’s leaders telling the public that the church did not have a building permit, and that christianization would soon follow if they let the church be built in the area.

On Tuesday, House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie said House-mediated negotiation should substitute for the existing, legally binding decision of the Supreme Court.

The comments were immediately slammed as undermining the rule of law.