Tuesday, March 1, 2011

E. Java Ahmadiyah decree violates constitution, harms pluralism

Tue, 03/01/2011
6:52 PM
E. Java Ahmadiyah decree violates constitution, harms pluralism
The Jakarta Post, Makassar
A decree regulating restrictions on Ahmadiyah activities issued by the East Java governor is against the Constitution and harms the nation’s value of pluralism, noted lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis on Tuesday.

“The decree is a violation of the Constitution,” he said as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

The Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, including people’s right to practice their beliefs, he added.

East Java governor Soekarwo on Monday issued a decree that prohibited all Ahmadis in the province from conducting activities related to Ahmadiyah.

Soekarwo’s decree prohibits Ahmadis from distributing pamphlets and placing signs at their offices and mosques. They are also not allowed to wear anything to indicate that they are Ahmadiyah members.

The decree is a bad precedent that may be followed by other regions, Todung said. He urged Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi to immediately annul the decree.

Todung also said he suspected that the decree was issued without careful consideration and was a result of pressure from certain groups.

“That’s one of the risks of being a public official,” he said, adding that he would challenge the decree at the State Administrative Court.

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