A Muslim boarding school in Indonesia strongly associated with Islamic State ideology is resisting community demands that it relocate due to its radical views.
Protesters showed up Monday at Pesantren Ibnu Mas’ud, located in mountains about 120 km (74 miles) south of Jakarta, to see whether it had complied with a Sept. 17 deadline by the local government to close its doors.
“A mob came to check if their demands had been met. They got information that the pesantren has gone on break, but is not being shut down,” Bogor regency police chief Dicky Pastika said.
Tensions rose between the school and surrounding community after a staff member burned red-and-white bunting that had been hung near the school as part of community festivities for Aug. 17, Indonesia’s national day.
Bogor police named school staff member Muhammad Supriyadi (alias Abu Yusuf), 17, as a suspect. “He confessed to being anti-Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and angry at seeing flags or bunting that represent the country,” Dicky told BenarNews.
According to Agus Purwoko, chairman of Al Uruwatul Usro Foundation that oversees the pesantren, the young man is mentally disturbed. He claimed the incident was blown out of proportion by “certain parties” – he did not say who – to hurt the school.
“We are not going to move,” Agus told BenarNews, adding that the protesters were not from Sukajaya village, on the slopes of Salak Mountain in Bogor, a regency of West Java province.
“People from around here are fine. The protesters are not people from here, they’ve been brought in from outside,” he said.
By Friday, the school had sent its 260 students home for at least two weeks, Agus said.
“They’re afraid, so what can you do? Just send them home,” he said.
Full story: BenarNews
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