Madura Shiites live in fear, admin takes no action
By: Nizam Hussain
JAKARTA, Indonesia: The Jakarta Post reported that a
group of some two-dozen Shiite followers from Sampang, Madura, in East
Java, have been forced to lead a nomadic life after an anti-Shiite
group threatened to kill them and burn their homes.
After an arson attack on Dec. 29 last year , the 22 followers and
their Shiite community leader Tajul Muluk were evicted from
Nangkernang hamlet, Karam Gayam village, Omben district, Sampang,.
They sometimes stay in Surabaya, Pasuruan and Malang and live off of
donations. Two of Tajulís children cannot attend school due to the
Tajulís other followers, who were allowed to return home, said they
were in a state of distress because they often received death threats.
Speaking to The Jakarta Post in Surabaya on Friday, Tajul said that
his mother had also received threats from members of an anti-Shiite
group that their homes would be burned when she returned to
Nangkernang village to see her family.
Members from the Omben Police station were still guarding the homes
vacated by Tajulís relatives as of Friday.
The advocacy team from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims
of Violence (Kontras) expressed in Surabaya on Thursday that the
manner in which the judicial system had dealt with the arson attack
and eviction cases against the Shiite minority community in Sampang
regency, East Java, was discriminative.
Based on Kontrasí findings, the Sampang regency and East Java
provincial administrations have not taken action to resolve the issue.
Intimidations and threats from anti-Shiite groups against Shiite
followers still continue.
ďWhat makes matters worse is that elements from the regional
administration have not made any effort to solve the issue. Some
officials have even been involved in the discrimination,Ē said
Surabaya Kontras coordinator Andy Irfan.
The police, added Andy, had only questioned suspect Musrika, who is
not believed to be the main perpetrator in the vandalism and arson
attack on Tajulís property.
Tajul, who was the victim of the arson attack and eviction in
December, was questioned by the East Java Police on March 6 on charges
of blasphemy and objectionable acts.
The Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) was also regarded as
slow to respond to Surabaya Kontrasí request that Tajul and 22 of his
followers be included in the witness and victim protection program.
Andy Irfan said that besides being disappointed with the East Java
Policeís response to Tajulís dilemma, Kontras was also dissatisfied
with the LPSK, which had failed to respond to the request to place
Tajul in the protection scheme, despite that the request was made in
According to Andy, Tajul and his followers are entitled to LPSK
protection, but the LPSK claim that it is still waiting for a plenary
meeting before deciding on the matter. The LPSK questioned Tajul and
his followers in mid-February, but has not taken action since.
Andy said that he would file for a request for the protection scheme
to LPSK again, this time for Hani and Umi, Tajulís sister and mother,
who would testify at the Sampang District Court on March 14.
According to Andy, there was a distinct possibility that the court
trial would be disrupted by anti-Shiite groups, as the trial would
hear defendant Musrikah, who allegedly vandalized and set fire to
Tajulís house and religious school complex.
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what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE