Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Gerakan Indonesia Kita (GITA) or Our Indonesia Movement has blasted the decision of Garut Regent Rudy Gunawan, whom they said had hindered the freedom to worship of Ahmadiyah followers, after the regent issued a circular that effectively banned religious activities of the Ahmadiyah Indonesia congregation and halted the construction of their house of worship in Cilawu, Garut regency.
GITA Garut chairperson Deni Rhamdani said the local police immediately sealed the house of worship that was amid construction.
"We urge the regent to restore the right to worship of the Ahmadiyah congregation as mandated by the 1945 Constitution (UUD)," said Rhamdani in a written statement on May 7.
He later said that the Garut Regent had been discriminative and anti-dialoge by refusing to respond to the request from the Ahmadiyah congregation to discuss the issue in a town meeting.
There were threats against the construction of the house of worship, which started from an incident that happened in Nyalindung village on April 25 after a group of people arrived in the location and asked for the mosque construction to be stopped.
Four days later, the construction leader and the community head leader found houses of non-Ahmadiyah people marked with yellow tapes – the perpetrators remained unknown. Sensing an impending threat, the religious movement's council notified the Garut Police and the Garut Prosecutor's Office and requested a meeting, which was eventually declined by both state institutions.
"The regent should run his errands as a regional leader who stands for each and every group," said Deni Rhamdani.