Fri 25 Apr 2008
Among Muslim majority states, Indonesia has a reputation for being one of the more tolerant, given the variety of religious persuasions in this multi-island nation. But recently there has been a flare up against the Ahmadiyya order. As reported on the BBC, the government of Indonesia is considering a ban on the Ahmadiyya:
About 2,000 people have gathered in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, to protest against a minority Muslim sect, the Ahmadiyya community.
Speakers outside the presidential palace demanded the group be banned.
That was what a government panel recommended last week, saying the Ahmadiyya’s beliefs went against Islam as practised in Indonesia.
But the Ahmadiyya argue that, like other minorities, they are protected under the Indonesian constitution.
The Ahmadis believe their own founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908 in India, was a prophet.
That contradicts the belief of most Muslims, who think the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet.
The Ahmadiyya face persecution in many countries.
Human Rights Watch has called on the Indonesia government not to issue the ban on the Ahmadiyya, a ban which would contradict the state’s constitution on religious liberty. For a pro-Ahmadiyya view of the situation, click here.