Members of a Muslim group lynched by extremists as police look on

 
On Sunday, members of the Ahmadiyya community- an Islamic movement considered a sect by Islam traditionalists- became victims of an extremely violent lynching, as police looked on helplessly. Our Observer received footage of this barbaric act from of one of the survivors of the massacre.
 
The assault took place on Sunday morning in the village of Cikeusik, west of the Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Twenty one members of the Ahmadiyya community met in the house of one of the leaders. A large crowd of local residents, armed with knives, swords and sticks, stormed the house to protest against the “infidels”. According to the police, there were nearly a thousand of them.
 
The Ahmadiyya religious community claims to be a branch of Islam, but it is regarded as heretical by Orthodox Muslims. According to the Ahmadis, Mohammed was not the last prophet. They consider Mirza Ghulum Ahmed, the founder of the Ahmadi movement, as the promised Messiah, the “second coming of Christ”.
 
There are about 20 million Ahmadis in the world and 200,000 in Indonesia. In many countries, such as Pakistan, they are persecuted by religious fundamentalists. Last month, fundamentalists from the Islamic Defence Front drove members of the the Ahmadiyya community out of their mosque in the Indonesian town of Makassar.
 
WARNING: THE VIOLENCE IN THIS VIDEO MAY BE CONSIDERED DISTURBING
 
 
This video was given to Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch activist from Jakarta, by eyewitnesses of the attack. It shows the Ahmadi house and vehicles being stormed by an armed mob. FRANCE 24 decided to show only selected screen shots of the final minutes of the clip, which are extremely violent. They show two apparently lifeless body beaten beyond recognition by an angry crowd, as police looked on. According to a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya community, only 20 policemen were sent to the scene of the mob.
Contributors

"The authorities opened the door to this violence and in a way legitimized it"

Andreas Harsono is a journalist, blogger and active member of Human Rights Watch. He is not part of the Ahmadiyya community.
 
I have worked a lot on the persecution of this community and I know some members. I know them so well that after the massacre on Sunday, three Ahmadis - three educated young men who live in Jakarta but were originally from the village - came to my house to alert me. But I was in Sumatra, my wife informed me of the situation and I came back immediately. On my return, I heard eyewitness accounts and I was given this footage. They were looking for somebody credible to spread this information. They spent the night in my living room and left on Monday morning.

Last week, they returned to their village to help their families, because for a few days they had heard rumours that there would be an attack against the Ahmadiyya community. The lectures accusing the Ahmadis of having ‘haram’ (impure) blood were becoming more frequent and were stirring up hatred against them. But they had no idea that the attack would be so violent.

We sent the video to an Indonesian television channel. But they only broadcast the beginning, the moment where the attackers arrive in front of the house of the imam and the Ahmadis come out to defend themselves. The editors were scared of stirring up hatred by showing the most shocking scenes. I have since posted the video on the internet to shows the determination of the assailants, who chant 'infidel, infidel'. They all have a blue sash tied around their chests, which to me confirms that it was an organized attack.
 
“These heinous crimes are becoming more frequent”

What is surprising is that none of the eyewitnesses mentioned the presence of any particular group of extremists, which makes me think that they are ‘ordinary’ believers, believers indoctrinated by increasingly hateful preachers who pronounce that the Ahmadis ruin the faith of other Muslims.

I don’t have proof that the police were complicit in the assault, but many of the Ahmadi community are convinced they were,  because of their passivity during the lynching. What is certain is that in the past ten years, no one caught attacking an Ahmadi has been sentenced.

In 2008, the Indonesian government issued a decree which classified the Ahmadi as blasphemers and introduced a five year imprison sentence for anyone teaching this religious doctrine. Since then, they have faced daily discrimination.
 
They cannot employ people of their farms, their children are bullied in school and these hate crimes have become increasingly frequent in the country. It is the authorities who have opened the door to this violence and given it legitimacy. 
Post written with France 24 journalist Ségolène Malterre.

Comments

Brave Reporting

I agree, this is very brave reporting, but it is so important to put the truth out. The truth sets those that accept it "free". This is from John's gospel but it applies to all people. Thank you France 24.

O my Goodness

This is really creepy. Everyone saw it even the police? WTF! This should serve as a warning to our government. This is crazy.

Mumbers of muslim group lynched by extremists

I'm very chocked by this image,it seems like the police force were not sufficiently armed to defend them.In the name of what bloody religion allows such barbaric and horrific acts. Those attackers,killers are not Muslims.This is a perfect cult of hate and cruelty.I do believe that police were not armed therefore to allow the massacre to occur.I 'm a devoted Christian,got no problem with Islam or another religious groups.I'll never or had ever attacked anyone or any minority ethnic groups for their religious beliefs.This is unfair and immoral.The Indonesian justice system has to launch a criminal investigation and punish the perpetrators according to the laws.

Religion, the scurge of man.

I HATE religion!!!!!!!!

"I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure." - C. Darrow

Hey people, here's a thought. Why not try to have a little more faith in yourself and your fellow man for a change? As apposed to "your" god.

Attack on innocent people!

No religion in world justify Hurting or killing of any human. Islam is not exceptional, even ISLAM means peace. Holy Prophet of Islam (peace & blessing be upon him) spent his whole life serving mankind, and spreading message of peace.

People who promote violence in the Name of ISLAM cannot justify their acts from Islamic teaching. They are Extremists and Terrorist, and these type of peoples don't follow any beliefs and religion.

Muslim Group lynched by extremists

When intolerance kills, silence is not an option. Those who remain silent and do not actively abhor this savage attack are just as guilty as those who committed it. Bravo Mr. Harsono for having the courage to not only write about what has transpired in Indonesia but to also the graphic savage video. I only hope the Indonesian government is paying attention.

Thank You!

As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I would like to thank Andreas Harsono and France 24 journalist Ségolène Malterre for reporting the dire state of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia. it is a sad day indeed when a country that is supposed to be secular cannot protect its citizens when they are lynched by a mob. No religion justifies this type of atrocity. Again, please continue your good work. Thank you once again.

Not Surprised

This should not be alarming, it has happened for thousands of years all over the world. The camera just puts it in your face. No religion has the right to tell others they are wrong! Any radical religious groups should be shunned and when you try to change or ridicule others that do not share your beliefs this is the result. Keep religion to yourself, not shouted out loud, not telling others they are wrong, not joining in groups but between you and your god. Religion is the ultimate pestilence on human beings! This event would have happened where I live if radical groups came in touting their doctrine too. WHy should the country protect you from religion, they should protect you from other nations and from the government within. Not from groups that should be sorted on a peer to peer level within that city or state! Ever heard of holy war...look into it then look abroad!

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