Indonesia’s Islamic community has long been accused of practising witchcraft, but this week a group of Muslims in the country’s capital Jakarta vowed to fight back against what they claim is a witch hunt.
The “ghost-hunting” campaign, led by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), was announced after the Jakarta Police arrested a young woman for sorcery, the Jakarta Post reported on Sunday.
“The witch hunt against us is not only illegal but it is a war crime, and we will not allow it to happen,” said Ahmad Zainuddin, a senior member of the group.
The FPI is a loosely-organised group that says it has 1.5 million members across Indonesia and has vowed to carry out witch-hunts to prevent “false” accusations against Muslims.
The group has also been accused by some Indonesian lawmakers of committing blasphemy by calling for an Islamic “reform” of Islam.
The Jakarta Post reports that the Indonesian National Assembly is set to debate a draft law on witchcraft this week that could make it easier for those accused of sorcery to face the death penalty.
The draft bill was leaked to the media ahead of the legislative session.
“We are doing what is needed to fight the witch-hunt,” said Zainudin.