Condemned as heretics, a community of around 200 Shia Muslims have for months lived as pariahs in a sports hall, driven from their Indonesian village after a deadly clash with Sunnis.
In August, a mob of hundreds armed with sickles and swords hacked a Shia man to death and torched more than 30 houses, forcing villagers to seek refuge at the sports hall.
Since then they have slept on thin mattresses surrounded by flies, sharing few communal toilets and eating modest meals at the Sampang district indoor tennis courts in eastern Java.
Now their future appears more bleak than ever.
Last month, the government cut their free food and water supplies, citing lack of funds. To add insult to injury, religious and village leaders demanded they convert to Sunni Islam or be expelled from the district.
“We don’t want to live like refugees. We want to return home as soon as possible, to the village where we were born. But it seems our fate is not for us to decide,” Suleha, a 22-year-old housewife, told AFP.
“Aren’t we all Muslims? We believe in the same god, the same prophets, the same Quran. So why can’t we get along and live together in peace?”
Written By: AFPcontinue to source article at dawn.com