Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Muslim Extremists continue Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
International Press and Media Desk
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
22 Deer Park, London, SW19 3TL
Tel / Fax (44) 020 8544 7613 Mobile (44) 07795460318
Email: press@ahmadiyya.org.uk
Web: Alislam.org
13 October 2008

On 9th June 2008, the Indonesia Government, bowing to pressure from extreme and fanatical Muslim groups, hastily adopted a formal ‘Joint Ministerial Decree’ against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (Community) in Indonesia. This Decree stated that members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat were to ‘discontinue the promulgation of interpretation and activities’ of its beliefs which were branded as ‘deviant’. The Decree imposed sanctions on any members of the Jamaat who were found to be in breach of the Decree.

Most damningly the Decree gave State legitimacy to the persecution of the Jamaat in Indonesia which had been occurring for a number of years. As a result of this new found ‘legitimacy’ the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Indonesia has markedly intensified over the past few months.

Since the Decree was issued more than ten Ahmadiyya Mosques have been sealed and many more have been attacked. Furthermore, Ahmadi Muslims have been forced to offer prayers behind non-Ahmadi Imams. This is something that no Ahmadi Muslim could ever do willingly because to do so would be to perform prayers behind a person who did not believe in the truth of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.

This year the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is celebrating the one hundredth year of Khilafat, which is the system of spiritual leadership that unites the entire Jamaat at the hand of the ‘Khalifa’. Unfortunately members of the Jamaat in Indonesia have been prohibited from celebrating this historic year. In one instance the logo marking the Khilafat Centenary celebrations was torn down in Pampangan by local leaders who could not bear the Ahmadiyya celebrations. In respect of this, Abid Khan, Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat said:
“Tearing down a logo may seem trivial, but it illustrates the true motives of the so called Muslims. They say they are defending Islam, yet they are willing to tear down a logo on which is printed a verse of the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an is the most sacred Islamic text and thus no true Muslim could ever bear seeing even one line of its text being ripped or torn. Such acts therefore demonstrate that these people are motivated only due to their hatred and jealously of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.”
A number of other incidents have been reported whereby Ahmadi Muslims have been subjected to various forms of persecution. This persecution has now reached a stage where the Ahmadis are even denied their basic civil rights. In one such example, in the south of Sumatera the Office of Religious Affairs continues to refuse issuing marriage certificates to Ahmadis until they sign a declaration abandoning their association to the Jamaat.

Despite widespread criticism both from the International Community and the International Media, the Indonesian Government shows no sign of withdrawing its Ministerial Decree. In this respect the International Community is urged to take note of the warning issued by Indonesia’s former Head of State, President Abdur-Rahman Wahid who recently in an interview with the Reuters news agency said that if the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was allowed to continue then it would lead to the persecution of other religions in the country. He said:
“The fundamentalists demand that the Ahmadiyya movement be disbanded. But I think it’s only the first step. After they will make more demands. You ban Ahmadiyya, then you ban the Shiites, Christians, Buddhists.”
End of Release
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