Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Minister told to take precautions when commenting on Ahmadiyah

Tue, 02/08/2011
4:56 AM
Minister told to take precautions when commenting on Ahmadiyah
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali needs to be more prudent when commenting on the Ahmadiyah religious sect, Abdul Kadir Karding, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Commission VIII overseeing religious affairs, warned Tuesday.

Suryadharma, Abdul said, should not blatantly announce his plan to ban the sect as he did last year as it only fuelled animosity toward the Ahmadis.

“The religious affairs minister is not the minister for Muslims only, but for all people in Indonesia. He represents the government and the government represents the people. A statement like that will only fuel the militancy of hard-line groups and justify their violent acts,” he added.

Ahmadiyah mosques and homes in Indonesia have been the target of intimidation and a series of attacks, reportedly not only committed by civilians, but also by the authorities. The latest incident happened over the weekend in a village in Pandeglang, Banten, where a mob of 1,500 people attacked a house guarded by around 20 Ahmadis. Three Ahmadis died in the attack.

Suryadharma has repeatedly called for the Ahmadiyah faith to be banned in Indonesia. In late August 2010 he claimed that after seeking divine advice he concluded that banning Ahmadiyah would be the best solution.

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