Thursday, February 10, 2011

Govt, House urge for Ahmadiyyah decree to become law

Thu, 02/10/2011
9:48 AM
Govt, House urge for Ahmadiyyah decree to become law
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The government and legislators have called for the speedy issuance of a new law, based on a joint ministerial decree (SKB) on the Islamic minority sect Jamaah Ahmadiyyah, to ensure “more efficient” law enforcement relating to Ahmadis.

The joint decree was originally issued by the religious affairs minister, the home minister and the attorney general in 2008, in efforts to regulate what Ahmadiyyah followers could and could not do in terms of religious practice.

“After becoming law, it can serve as a legal basis for more effective law enforcement,” Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said early Thursday morning after a hearing with the House of Representatives’ commission on religion.

“Making the decree into law will provide stronger legal grounds to maintain harmony among people of different faiths,” he said.

Many have said the joint decree only reaffirms the community opposition to the minority, and has given some degree of legal backing to violent actions against Ahmadis, the worst of which was seen in Pandeglang, Banten, on Sunday, when three Ahmadis were brutally killed in a mob attack on their congregation.

However, the government has insisted the move would serve as a means to preventing communities from being further provoked by Ahmadis’ activities, thus protecting the latter from violence.

Religious commission chairman Abdul Kadir Karding said the recent attack in Pandeglang was evidence that the ministerial decree needed to be made into law.

“With the recent situation, it is urgent that we immediately discuss and complete [deliberation of the bill],” Abdul said, as quoted by

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