Most Indonesians oppose attack on Ahmadis – survey

Jakarta, Indonesia - Most Indonesians disapproved of an attack on members of the minority Ahmadiyah sect earlier this year according to a survey of 3,000 people in 10 provinces, the Jakarta Post reported.

The attack in February in West Java left three Ahmadis dead and five seriously injured.

The Ahmadis are followers of a sect founded in the 19th century. Mainstream Muslims say their beliefs are heretical.

“As many as 82.3 percent of the respondents said they disapproved the attack, 7.9 were in favour, while 9.8 did not give a statement,” Setara Institute researcher Ismail Hasani told the Post.

However research also found that more than 40 percent of respondents were in favour of a joint ministerial decree and an Indonesian Ulema Councils edict declaring Ahmadiyah be disbanded because it was heretical and blasphemous.

The 12 Indonesian Muslims who were charged with the violence were sentenced to between three and six months in prison only, prompting an outcry from rights groups.

Ahmadis believe there have been other prophets of Islam since its founder Mohammad, although he is regarded as the most important.