Jakarta. The government will retain a damaged mosque belonging to Ahmadiyya followers in Sintang, West Kalimantan as a worship place for Muslims although its dome has been removed by protesters.
A group of protesters attacked the Miftahul Huda Mosque last September and expelled Ahmadiyya followers, saying that their belief didn’t represent Islamic teachings.
A Religious Affairs Ministry official said on Sunday the damaged mosque should be retained as a worship place for all Muslims.
“The property in Sintang is expected to remain as a mosque for all Muslims to come. Should the mosque’s function be shifted, there must be a further discussion with Ahmadiyya followers as the owner,” Wawan Djunaedi, the head of the ministry’s Center of Religious Harmony, said in a statement.
Djunaedi also asked regional governments to facilitate those from all faiths who propose temporary places of worship due to their issues of eligibility in building one.
“District administrations should ensure the constitutional rights of Indonesians, especially regarding the ability to worship collectively at their permanent or temporary places of worship,” he added.
Additionally, Djunaedi also asked fellow Muslims to welcome the Ahmadis to their local mosque or musalla.
The community had been facing attacks from the locals since 2004. The situation was worsened by the Islamic People’s Alliance’s attack on the mosque which had previously been sealed by the Sintang administration on September 3, 2021.
Ahmadiyah’s legal team representative, Fitria Eumarni, claims that the community received a final warning letter from the Sintang district head on January 7, which gives them 14 days to demolish the mosque.