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Home Worldwide Indonesia January, 2008 Religious Affairs …
Religious Affairs minister denounces violence against deviant sects

Antara News
01/03/08 15:16
Religious Affairs minister denounces violence against deviant sects

Jakarta (ANTARA News) — Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni said it was a big mistake to beat up and torch the homes of followers of religious sects considered deviant.

“Such acts are criminal,” the minister said on the occasion of the Religious Affairs Ministry`s 62nd Service Day here Thursday.

He said the law-enforcing agencies would deal with followers of those religious sects in accordance with prevailing regulations and laws.

The Religious Affairs Ministry had already acted and would continue to act to make followers of errant religious sects aware of their mistaken ways.

“We will never stop to make them aware of their wrong beliefs or practices,” the minister said.

He said the best judge to decide whether a religious sect was right or wrong was actually the conscience of every individual concerned.

Maftuh said his ministry was seeking a way to resolve the problem of deviant religious sects in society in a peaceful way.

“A peaceful solution is better than violence in dealing with existing misleading religious sects in the country,” the minister said.

Nahdlatul Ulama (the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia) Chairman Hasyim Muzadi said recently many misleading religious sects had emerged in Indonesia because the government had failed to take stern measures against them.

Hasyim said it seemed the government was letting misleading religious sects develop before taking actions against them.

“The emergence of Ahmadiyah, false prophets and a person who declared her or himself to be an angel should be dealt with through strong measures before they attract masses of followers,” he said.

Every era required scientific development but any development had to remain true to its roots, namely, al-Qur`an and Hadits (words or deeds of the Prophet Muhammad which become the chief sources of guidance for understanding religious questions), he said. (*)

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