JAKARTA, July 29, 2010 (AFP) - Indonesian police clashed with about 200 people Thursday as the mob tried to attack a mosque in West Java belonging to a minority Islamic sect.
The crowd hurled stones at an Ahmadiyah mosque in Manislor village in Kuningan district, leading to an hour-long conflict with police, said local general secretary of the Ahmadiyah sect, Nurahim.
"About 200 people pelted stones at our mosque and clashed with the police for about an hour. It's not clear yet who was the organiser of the mob," Nurahim, who goes by one name, told AFP.
"The police were able to secure the mosque and handle the people. The situation, however, is still tense now," he said.
Nurahim said the village's 3,000 Ahmadiyah followers were ready to help the police if needed and were not carrying out counter-attacks.
"We had a similar experience before in 2007, in which our mosque and houses were attacked. A house was burned and several were damaged at the time," Nurahim said.
The Ahmadiyah sect, which claims 500,000 followers in Indonesia, believes that its founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the final prophet and not Mohammed, contradicting a central tenet of mainstream Islam.
Indonesia's top Islamic body issued a fatwa in 2008 describing the sect as "deviant".
Ahmadiyah, which many conservative Islamic leaders in the Muslim-majority nation describe as their enemy, has had a presence in the country since the 1920s.