The Indonesian government has halted all religious activities of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim community, handing a victory to Islamic extremists and
tarnishing Indonesia's reputation as a moderate, pluralistic Muslim nation.
The decree, approved June 10 by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
falls short of an outright ban on Ahmadis, but orders them to stop practicing
their faith and "return to mainstream Islam." Ahmadis now face arrest for
practicing their beliefs. About 5,000 members of the hard-line group United for
Islam demonstrated outside the presidential palace the day the ban was signed.
On June 1, extremists attacked an interfaith rally supporting
Ahmadiyya, injuring dozens of people. Extremists have been demonstrating by the
thousands in Jakarta over the last few months, and on April 28 some torched an
Ahmadiyya mosque in Sukabumi, Western Java.
Since the influential and state-supported Council of the Indonesian Ulama
issued a 2005 fatwa that banned the Ahmadiyya, violence, threats and vandalism
against the group's estimated 200,000 followers in the country have increased.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Indonesia - The "Moderate" Islamic Country Cracks Down On Minority Religious Groups
Yes, Indonesia is a model of moderation.