An Ahmadiyah mosque has been shuttered by authorities in Indonesia after Muslim groups called for protests against the minority group they regard as heretical. Local government security officers and police were standing guard Friday at the mosque in Depok, a satellite city of the capital, Jakarta. A sign erected in front announces its closure for illegal activities. A notice from groups including the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front to march on the mosque to end its Ahmadiyah activities “permanently” has been circulating online this week. It said there was no need to bring weapons as the protest was intended to be peaceful.
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Human Rights Watch said that persecution of Ahmadiyah religious communities has worsened since 2008, when then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree ordering its followers to stop spreading their faith. Adherents are considered blasphemous by most Indonesian Muslims because they don’t regard Muhammad as the final prophet.
Police said the Al-Hidayah mosque in Depok was sealed Thursday by local government officials in the presence of police and clerics from the influential Indonesian Ulema Council, the top Muslim clerical body. Last year, police removed women and children from an Ahmadiyah community in Sumatra after threats of expulsion from the local government. In 2011, three Ahmadiyah men were killed by Muslim militants in West Java following a series of violent attacks.