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Home Worldwide Indonesia December, 2007 Govt told to …
Govt told to follow examples from past

National News December 17, 2007 

Govt told to follow examples from past

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Religious figures and politicians concluded Friday that political agreements between “troubled” Muslim sects and the government would offer a better resolution to religious conflicts in Indonesia.

“We should all remember that the problems of the so-called ‘heretical’ Islamic sects of Al Qiyadah and Ahmadiyah are no longer issues of faith. This has become a political agenda,” said Agus Miftah of the National Unity Front (FPN).

He was speaking during one of a series of Koranic discussions on the significance of the Hudaibiyah agreement (628 A.D.) on the development of Islam. The discussions are held every Friday at the FPN secretariat in South Jakarta.

Before resorting to violence, Agus said, the government should follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad and try to establish an agreement with sect leaders that would be beneficial in the long run. The Hudaibiyah agreement, which was built on the basis of peace, gave Muslims the opportunity to take control of Mecca through diplomacy. It compensated for the ban on Muslims entering Mecca in that year with a three-day opportunity to conduct the haj pilgrimage in the following year, and endorsed the establishment of peaceful agreements between Muslims and the Quraisy.

“The point of the agreement is not who was right or wrong, but establishing an understanding between the two parties,” Agus said. “If we use this kind of political approach, I’m sure we could come up with a better resolution.” Agus and FPN welcomed ex-members of Al Qiyadah since the arrest of the sect leader, Ahmad Mushaddeq, who announced that he was the next prophet after Muhammad, last month. During the discussion, Agus also proclaimed a plan to establish a new forum of Muslims, which would include members of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Ahmadiyah and Al Qiyadah.

“We will establish the Movement of Free People on Dec. 28 at the Manggala Wanabakti complex, where Ahmad Mushaddeq will be represented by his deputy, Ahmad Mudzakkir,” Agus said. Mudzakkir will represent Ahmad Mushaddeq as the chairman of the forum until the sect leader is released by the police. Mudzakkir, who was present at the discussion, said that he expected the forum to be able to promote peace and understanding between different Islamic sects.

Agus also said that the Ahmadiyah sect was a “national resource as they done a lot, even since the Soekarno era.”

“It is only natural that they, too, should make a political agreement to secure their position in Indonesia.”

The discussion, attended by members of political parties such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), also concluded that religious leaders needed to master the skills of diplomacy through politics. (lva)

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