Ditulis oleh Margareth Aritonang pada 08-08-2013
Home ministry denies forced conversion of Sampang Shiites
Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi rejected accusations centering on the government’s alleged ultimatum to the displaced Sampang Shiites — convert to the “true” version of Islam and be able to return to their village.
"It was not meant to be a conversion. We used this method to make the transition smooth so they could return to their home village safe and sound,” Gamawan said on the sidelines of Idul Fitri prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque on Thursday.
According to Gamawan, seven families have left the relocation neighborhood in Sidoarjo, East Java, and returned to Sampang.
"We are planning to return 22 families in total. I hope this plan is successful," said Gamawan.
Critics had earlier said that the repatriation process was illegal because the Shiites were forced to sign an agreement of nine points, which included the condemning of the teachings of Shiite cleric Tajul Muluk.
Sampang Shiite spokesperson Hertasning Ichlas said that he received complaints from several members of the Sampang Shia community who were asked to sign the agreement before Sampang Regent Fanan Hasyib and Head of Sampang's Municipal Political and National Unity Office (Kesbangpol) Rudi Setiadi.(dic)