Jakarta Police Help Repel Attack on Ahmadiyah Mosque
Arientha Primanita, Nivell Rayda & Zaky Pawas | December 04, 2010
Jakarta. A group of about 50 people, dressed in white robes and wielding weapons, attempted to attack an Ahmadiyah mosque in South Jakarta early on Friday morning, but they were chased off with help from police officers.
Firdaus Mubarik, spokesman for the South Jakarta branch of Ahmadiyah, said the congregation was warned by police of the impending attack.
A number of members, along with three police officers, stood guard over the Al Hidayah Mosque off Jalan Ciputat Raya in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta.
“At 12:37 a.m., 50 people came to the mosque wearing white clothing and wielding sharp weapons like samurai,” he said.
Firdaus said the police fired six warning shots, causing the group to scatter. “The whole incident took about 10 seconds. It was recorded on our CCTV.”
The footage showed the group was mostly made up of teenagers armed with wooden canes and iron bars.
One assailant tried to pick up a rock while another attempted to climb the gates before the pack panicked and fled.
Seconds later, police and civilians were seen chasing the mob away.
One man from the group was detained and taken to the Kebayoran Lama Police station.
Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Sutarman pledged firm action against the perpetrators.
The damage from the attack was fairly minor, but pluralism advocates are more worried about what the attack means.
“This is proof that intolerance is really happening in the capital,” said Ismail Hasani, a researcher for the Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, which recently released a survey showing that 45.4 percent of respondents from Greater Jakarta wanted the Ahmadiyah, a minority Islamic sect, disbanded.