Police blamed Bogor’s Ahmadiyah community on Tuesday for inciting violence against them by being “introverted” and not being involved in social activities.
The comments came a day after police said they would not name suspects after a mob attacked Ahmadis in Bogor on Friday — an act the police called “self-defense.”
“The Ahmadiyah should open up to their surroundings and other community members. Stop being introverted so that people don’t get suspicious,” National Police chief Timur Pradopo said.
But Timur still backtracked slightly on his statement by adding that West Java Police would investigate Friday’s attack in Cisalada village in Bogor and that the public should understand that people cannot solve problems by using violence and breaking the law.
“Basically, any violation of the law has to be processed. It’s as simple as that,” he said. On the attack, he told people to “just wait for the result.”
A mob of Sunni Muslims attacked the Ahmadis’ houses while a group of foreigners, including two journalists, visited the area. The Ahmadiyah eventually got together to protect their community from attack and both sides clashed.
Ahmadi community leaders apologized for the incident in signed statements, which at least one signatory said he was forced to make by police.
“The district police chief and military commander told me what I had to write, that it was my fault for not reporting the foreign journalists to the subdistrict head,” Mubarik Ahmad said on Sunday.
The Ahmadiyah community have long been victims of violence in Indonesia, where mainstream Muslims view the sect as a “deviant” form of Islam. Indonesia recognizes six religions, but the Ahmadi version of Islam is not one of them.