» 06/09/2008, 00.00
Indonesia to ban Ahmadi activities
Government gives in to pressures by Muslim radicals against “heretical” sect. Members of the small community protest, saying that the state should not interfere in matters of faith. Unsatisfied Muslim extremists threatened President Susilo if he does not act more forcefully against the “heretics.”
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia gives in to fundamentalist pressures and bans all activities by Ahmadis across the country. Extremists won their battle against those whom they consider a “heretical sect” and its members’ demand to be recognised as Muslim. Interior Minister Mardiyanto, Attorney General Henderman Supandji and Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni approved the joint ministerial decree that forces Ahmadis to halt all their activities.
A heated debate had broken out in recent days. Tensions ran so high that partisans of radical and moderate factions in Indonesian Islam clashed. Today another demonstration by extremists took place with protesters calling for the outright ban of the sect.
According to Muslim extremists, Ahmadis have deviated from mainstream Islam because, even though they consider themselves Muslims, they do not recognise Muhammad as the last prophet. For this reason they are also persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“The most important thing is to end this religious campaign to have Ghulam proclaimed as a prophet,” said Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni. Such recognition would defile Islam’s purity.
Both he and Attorney General Supandji have denied claims that the measure is intended to wipe out the Ahmadis; the two ministers reject all charges that the ban is a violation of religious freedom.
The government’s decision has provoked criticism from members of the Ahmadi community. Across Indonesia hundreds of them have pledged to continue their campaign, saying that the “state has no right to interfere in matters that touch upon citizens’ faith and beliefs.”
Some hard-line Muslim groups have also attacked the government’s action, calling instead for a presidential decree that would impose a total ban on the sect.
“If President Susilo does not act in this direction, we shall organise new, bigger protests to force him to resign,” threatened the chairman of the Islamic Society Forum.
Gus Dur: "No more attacks against Christians"
The former president and leader of Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation is ready to send paramilitaries to West Java to defend Christians from fundamentalist attacks.
Indonesia: Muslims in defence of persecuted Ahmadis
Islamic scholars urge the Ulema Council to revoke a "counterproductive" edict which brands this Muslim community as "heretical".
Moderate Muslims and human rights activists defend Ahmadis
Some Indonesian provinces ban “heretical” sect. East and West Java are followed by East Borneo, West Jakarta and South Sulawesi. The Nahdlatul Ulama defends Ahmadis, saying that doctrinal deviations are no justification for violence.
Ulema against the government in defence of “heretical’ Ahmadis
Nahdlatul Ulama leaders oppose a draft bill that would outlaw the Ahmadi sect, which does not recognise Muhammad as the last prophet. They also plan to field 20,000 young people to defend Ahmadis from attacks by extremists.
Muslim students attack Catholic schools in Yogyakarta over a Facebook post
Someone going by the name of Rudi Yohanes, who claims to be a student at the Pangudi Lujur 1 school, said on the social network that he was ‘anti-Islamic’. Fundamentalist groups react by attacking three Catholic schools, causing damages and the temporary closure of the facilities. In reality, the name and profile are fakes by an unknown user.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.