Friday, March 25, 2011

Dialogue Won’t Wait for Ahmadiyah

Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
Dialogue Won’t Wait for Ahmadiyah
Camelia Pasandaran & Antara | March 25, 2011

Having missed out on getting its voice heard on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Indonesia Ahmadiyah Congregation has two more days to attend hearings at a national dialogue organized by the Religious Affairs Ministry.

The hearings are geared toward resolving an ongoing nationwide dispute over the minority Ahmadiyah sect, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said on Thursday.

He added that no amendment would be made to the schedule of the dialog simply to accommodate the wishes of the sect.

“If they want to come, we will be holding this dialogue on March 28 and 29. They could come on those days. If they have no intentions to resolve this matter, they should come and explain why,” the minister said.

The congregation, also known as the JAI, said it declined the invitation because of the short notice it was given, plus the venue — the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Zafrullah Pontoh, the JAI’s national secretary, said on Monday that the invitation had only arrived on Friday, adding that the group had been allocated just four seats at the conference.

Wednesday’s talks saw a majority of the representatives agreeing to the complete disbandment of Ahmadiyah.

In a separate development, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan claimed that hundreds of Ahmadis had converted to the “correct” teachings of Islam following the recent issuance of local regulations banning the religious activities of the sect.

“Hundreds of Ahmadis have come to the correct path of Islam in West Java,” Ahmad said on Thursday.

“It is my hope that the figure reaches 500 Ahmadis.”

Copyright 2010 The Jakarta Globe
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