Ahmadiyya community expelled from Indonesian island of Bangka

Last month the Ahmadi Muslims of Bangka were warned that they would be expelled from the island unless they converted (to Sunni Islam).  Now the expulsion has gone ahead at the orders of the Government of Bangka District.  The explanation for this decision reminded me of the contortions of the satirical character ‘King of Dawah‘.

According to [the Bangka Regent, Tarmizi], Jemaat Ahmadiyah in Bangka has been a tyranny of the minority over the majority residents because they have made the community feel unsettled. Moreover, the surrounding community has been restless for the last 10 years and have been patient despite Ahmadiyah’s activities. “The problem is that they are rejected in the entire area of Bangka-Belitung. “As a regional head,  Tarmizi said, he is neutral. “The story about me trying to evict them is not true. We only ask them to leave peacefully due to safety and security reasons,” he said.

The Governement of Bangka District, he added, does not only sees it from religious point of view in resolving Ahmadiyah case. His institution also sees this case from the view of public peace and order. On the other hand, said Tarmizi, there had been 4 fatwas which said that Ahmadiyah is deviant and misleading. “To be deviant is not a problem as it would be at their own risk. Yet, they are misleading. It could corrupt the ummah’s beliefs,” he said.

Tarmizi rejects the accusation from Ahmadiyah that he has violated the human rights. Instead, he thinks that Ahmadiyah have violated human rights because their tyrant nature despite being the minority. They are also deemed disruptive. “They are free to file a lawsuit. I will take responsibility for the policy I’ve made.”

Quite how the Ahmadi Muslims have demonstrated ‘tyranny’ is left unclear.   In the past there have been attempts to ban their branch of  Islam from Indonesia.  And, although in theory the Indonesian Government provides for freedom of religion, they have failed to  intervene to prevent the forced expulsion of Bangka’s Ahmadi community.