Explosion hits office of liberal Indonesian Islamic group

JAKARTA Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:12pm IST

Related Topics

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A small explosion on Tuesday hit the Jakarta office of the Liberal Islamic Network, an Indonesian group that has defended the rights of minority Islamic sect Ahmadi, a witness said.

The explosion, which injured three people, comes a month after a mob beat to death three followers of the Ahmadi sect, considered heretical by mainstream Muslims.

Indonesia has won praise for largely defeating Islamic terror, but a recent spike in religious intolerance could heighten risk concerns for foreign investors counting on improved stability in Southeast Asia's largest economy and the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Ade Wahyudi, a manager at KBR68H radio that shares the office with the pluralist Liberal Islamic Network, said the office had called police to open a package that contained a book with wires sticking out of it. The police officer who opened the package was among the injured.

"I was on a different room, upstairs, and heard a bang, like thunder," Wahyudi told Reuters by telephone.

Indonesian authorities have said they are investigating last month's brutal mob killing, but human rights activists say authorities have not taken a strong stance against attacks on Ahmadis in the past.

Rights activists and several parliamentarians said on Tuesday that military personnel in western Java island recently summoned Ahmadi leaders to identify Ahmadi followers in their area and asked them to return to mainstream Islam.

"This goes to show a strengthening movement in government institutions trying to persecute Ahmadis. This is a worrying turn," said Haris Azhar of local rights group Kontras.

Military leaders denied the allegations of attempts at forced conversions.

Eva Kusuma Sundari, a member of the parliamentary legal commission from opposition party PDI-P, said the government should clarify the "disturbing" reports.

"It's deeply concerning. It reminds us of the past when the military was meddling into local politics and public order," she told Reuters by telephone.

(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)

FILED UNDER:

Coordinated Assault

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Article 

Indians in Iraq

Indians in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

After record deal, more India bank takeovers on cards  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Cricket Tragedy

Cricket Tragedy

Clarke breaks down giving heartfelt Hughes tribute  Full Article 

Nigeria Violence

Nigeria Violence

Bombs, gunfire kill 81 at crowded mosque in Nigeria's Kano  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

D’Silva's “Ungli” just skims the surface  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage