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Feb 15 21:31
Gus Dur Accuses Religious Affairs Minister of Violating Constitution
Jakarta (ANTARA News) — Islamic figure KH Abdurrahman Wahid on Wednesday accused Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni of having violated the constitution by advising Ahmadiyah sect followers to set up a religion of their own, separate from Islam.
“He (Maftuh) has violated the constitution,” Wahid said on the sidelines of the opening of a National Awakening Party (PKB) national caderization course at the party’s headquarters in Kalibata, Jakarta.
Gus Dur, as the former leader of one of the country’s largest Islamic orgaizations, the Nahdlatul Ulama, said the minister would be laughed at by the people with his proposal.
He said the constitution guaranteed citizens freedom to embrace their religions and practice them while every citizen without any exception had to respect the constitution as Indonesia is a law-abiding ,country.
The former president said that in terms of faith he was different from the Ahmadiyah followers but as a citizen he had to respect them based on the constitution.
“From the faith point of view, I do not agree with them but as a citizen I have to respect the consitution,” he said.
Gus Dur has so far actively defended the Ahmadiyah followers and condemned violences that had occured upon them. He called on the government to courageously take an action against those that had attacked Ahmadiyah followers.
In an effort to curb violences against Ahmadiyah followers Religious Affairs Minister Basyuni had suggested that the Ahmadiyah followers stopped declaring themselves as Moslems and maintained their identity as Ahmadiyah.
Although the Ahmadiyah followers rejected the advice a number of Islamic quarters supported the minister’s idea because according to them, the Ahmadiyah teachings deviated from Islam teachings.
Among those supporting the minister were Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of another main Islamic organization Muhammadiyah and the Forum of Islamic Faithfuls.
Former Muhammadiyah chairman Syafii Maarif said as a discourse he suggested leaving the Ahmadiyah alone because in Islam there were around 400 sects and some of them were even more serious than Ahmadiyah.(*)