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 Religious Minority Village Set on Fire in W. Kalimantan

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BerichtOnderwerp: Religious Minority Village Set on Fire in W. Kalimantan   wo 20 jan 2016 - 22:59


The Jakarta Globe, 20 Jan 2016

Jakarta. More than 700 people in West Kalimantan have been forced to leave their village as it was attacked and set on fire by a mob on Tuesday, amid a nation-wide blasphemy scare.

The villagers, who resided on 43 hectares farmland in Moton Panjang, Mempawah district, were accused of being former members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar), which has been grabbing headlines nationwide following the disappearance of several people believed to have joined the group.

The disappearance prompted a widespread scare that has even led to former followers being targeted. This is the first reported case of violence against the group, however. reported that locals surrounding the farmland had been voicing their objections against Gafatar and had even pressured the local government to relocate them elsewhere.

An intimidation campaign against the villagers ensued, including the setting on fire of a car belonging to a former Gafatar follower in front of the Mempawah district government office while a closed-door meeting on evacuation of the villagers was being held on Monday.

Locals rejecting the villagers' presence were reportedly upset with the slow progress of the relocation and decided to take matters into their own hands, the news portal reported.

Despite heavy security presence, the angry mob started to set on fire houses and storage facilities in the village at 3.20 p.m. on Tuesday.

The ex-Gafatar members “were evacuated to a safe place. I hope [the incident] ends here and the area remains safe and secure here in Mempawah district,” district head Ria Norsan told the portal.

Ria said most of the villagers were transmigrants from Java, adding that her office would prepare transportation for them to return.

Gafatar is believed to be the transformation of another group named Al-Qiyadah al-Islamiyah, founded by a self-proclaimed prophet Ahmad Moshaddeq. Moshaddeq was sentenced in 2008 to four years in jail for blasphemy.

Suspicions that Moshaddeq might have established a new group, Gafatar, arose after a female doctor in Yogyakarta and her 6-month-old baby went missing on Dec. 30 and were found almost two weeks later in West Kalimantan, where the group is now believed to be based.

Since then there have been reports of more missing persons that were attributed to the group.

Indonesia has seen a spate of violence against members of religious minority groups recent years, especially the Ahmadiyah sect and Shiites.


A follow up from the Jak Pos 20 Jan 2016, same subject,

Navy ships to transport Gafatar members back home

The government will deploy three Navy warships to transport former members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) back to their hometowns in Central Java next week after they were forced out of their homes by residents of Mempawah regency, West Kalimantan amid controversy surrounding the group.

Three warships would transport around 1,500 members of Gafatar to various parts of Central Java, Central Java Police spokesman Sr.Comr Liliek Darmanto said on Wednesday.

The numbers were based on data the police received that included families with children from Yogyakarta and several cities in Central Java, such as Semarang, Surakarta, Sukoharjo, Wonogiri, Klaten and Sragen.

He said that those people were no longer members of Gafatar as they had shown repentance and quit the group.

The warships will arrive in Pontianak, West Kalimantan on Sunday and are scheduled to arrive at Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang next Wednesday.

"We will then transport them to their hometowns by bus," Liliek said, adding that the Central Java Police would coordinate with local administrations and the military in transporting the former members back to their hometowns.

Locals burned down nine houses of former Gafatar members in Moton Panjang, Mempawah regency, forcing more than 1,000 out of their homes and into military shelters in Pontianak.

Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the government would provide accommodations for the former members of the group, which is currently under the government and Indonesian Ulema Coucil's (MUI) radars for its alleged heretical ideology.

"We will take care of them until they return to their homes," she told journalists at the House of Representatives complex on Wednesday.

The ministry will also send an assessment team to Pontianak to identify the needs of the former members of Gafatar.

The assessment aims to determine what drove them into joining the group. Whether it was because of ideology, peer pressure or being made promises, Khofifah said.

Hundreds of people were reported missing to the police following suspicion that they had joined the group

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