A mob of more than 100 people damaged an Ahmadiyah mosque in Tulungagung, East Java, on Thursday night.
Baitul Salam mosque, located in Gempolan village, Tulungagung, had its windows and entrance door destroyed after the mob, which consisted of youths from Gempolan village and neighboring areas, threw stones at it at 9:30 p.m.
“It was spontaneous, the mosque was destroyed by young people,” said Sarijan, a local resident whose house is near the mosque, on Friday, as quoted by Tempo.
Sarijan said that while three people — mosque attendant Japar, Ahmadiyah member Edi Susanto and Ahmadiyah preacher Rizal Fazli — were inside the mosque ahead of the attack, no one was killed.
Three hours before the attack, Imam Muslim, the local Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) head, and police met with the trio to request that they shut down the mosque and stop spreading Ahmadiyah teachings. They also demanded Rizal leave the village immediately.
Edi and Rizal had been taken out of the mosque by the police before the attack, but Japar insisted on staying inside to close the doors and turn off the lights. He did not leave the mosque, which was built on land donated by his family, until the mob started to stone it. Imam evacuated him out of the mosque when the attack began.
“We have tried to mediate [conflict between congregations and residents], but Japar said that he was not the one responsible when residents asked him to knock down the mosque,” Imam said, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Sarijan said that local residents had long opposed the mosque and recently requested that worshippers shut it down.
Some police officers and soldiers are still securing the mosque. Japar and Edi have left their homes and Rizal has fled the village.
Tulungagung Police chief of detectives Adj. Comr. Lahuri said that he did not know about the incident.
“I don’t know, no report was filed to the police. Probably it was only small incident,” Lahuri said, as quoted by Okezone.