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Group asks AGO to ban Ahmadiyah
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
More than 50 Islamic organizations grouped under the Islamic Community Forum visited the Attorney’s General Office (AGO) on Thursday to urge the government to ban the Ahmadiyah sect.
In a letter to Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, the group expressed the need for the government to declare Ahmadiyah heretical, prohibit all its activities and demand the followers be re-educated by the Indonesian Ulemas Council.
The forum’s secretary-general, Muhammad Al Khaththath, said the letter was received by the junior attorney for intelligence affairs.
Around 20 men accompanied Al Khaththath to the AGO, including Ahmad Sumargono from the Indonesian Muslim Brotherhood (GPMI) and Achmad Michdan from the Muslim Defense Lawyers Team.
The forum claim more than 50 Islamic organizations support them, including Indonesia’s two biggest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, as well as some political parties, such as the United Development Party, the Crescent Star Party and the Prosperous Justice Party.
Al Khaththath said the forum’s visit was crucial due to the upcoming meeting of the Coordinating Body for the Monitoring of Religious Beliefs (Pakem) on Jan. 8, 2008. The body is an AGO unit tasked with supervising issues relating to religious beliefs in Indonesia. Institutions in the body include the National Police, the Religious Affairs Ministry and the National Intelligence Agency.
“Ahmadiyah continues to undermine the real teachings of Islam by, among others, saying Mirza Gulam Ahmad, not Prophet Muhammad, is the last prophet. That’s why we are urging the government, especially President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to issue any regulation necessary to ban Ahmadiyah, including its organization, religious practices and literature in Indonesia,” Al Khaththath said.
Junior Attorney General for Intelligence Affairs Wisnu Subroto said the AGO would treat the letter from the forum as a recommendation in the body’s meeting, along with the recommendation from the Indonesian Ulemas Council submitted previously.
“The government needs to hear all the information from all parties, including from Ahmadiyah members. During the last meeting with the AGO, Ahmadiyah leaders explained they did not recognize Mirza Gulam Ahmad as a prophet, but merely as a pious leader.
“Many groups, including the forum’s members, believed the clarification was just a game being played by the Ahmadiyah leaders to escape being banned (at that time),” Wisnu told The Jakarta Post by phone.
Commenting on the issue, Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama Hasyim Muzadi said, as quoted by detik.com on Thursday, the Indonesian Ulemas Council must sit together with the AGO before a ban on the Ahmadiyah sect was issued. (uwi)