Indonesia shuts down Ahmadiyya Mosque in Depok

Ahmadis were forced to perform Friday prayers in the courtyard after Indonesian authorities shut down the community’ Mosque in Depok, a satellite city of the capital, Jakarta.

On Thursday, February 23rd, Depok’s municipal police sealed Masjid Al-Hidayah which belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The mayor of Depok said this is the seventh time the Mosque has been sealed since 2011

Hundreds of Islamic hard-liners, including members of the notorious Islam Defenders Front (FPI), staged a rally the on Friday in front of the mosque and threatened to take harsh measures should the authorities fail to expel the Ahmadis from the city as well as to demolish the sealed mosque.

“We reject the presence of Ahmadis in Depok. They have been declared heretical yet they still practice their beliefs here. Don’t blame us if we take tough action,” cleric Ahmad Daman Huri said in his speech.

Chairman of the Committee of Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia Fitria Sumarni said: “Masjid Al-Hidayah was established in 1999 and has since been open to the public and has a building permit (IMB) as a place of worship since 2007,”.

A spokesman for Ahmadiyya Indonesia (JAI), Yendra Budiana said:

In the past two years there have been eleven cases of Ahmadiyya mosque closures. Most of the closure of the mosque actually initiated by the local government.

In the past religious organizations forced the closures of Mosques but now it is the government that is closing our mosques. Even though the mosque had an IMB  permit.

Ahmadi beliefs are regarded as deviant by most Indonesian Muslims, who are mainly Sunnis.

Last year, police removed women and children from an Ahmadiyah community in Sumatra after threats of expulsion from the local government. In 2011, three Ahmadiyah men were killed by Muslim militants in West Java following a series of violent attacks.