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‘Deviant’ Indonesia sect seeks protection after threats
JAKARTA — AN Indonesian Muslim sect slammed as ‘deviant’ by a government advisory board has asked for police protection after receiving death threats, its lawyer said on Thursday.
Ahmadiyah sect lawyer Jan Hussein Lamardi visited national police headquarters here to make the request and report two leaders of hardline Islamic gropus for allegedly ‘inciting hatred and suggest people to commit crimes’.
‘We come here to ask for police protection after (Ahmadiyah members) received threats in the form of brochures, VCDs and through their emails,’ Mr Lamardi told reporters.
The sect had received brochures and videos with the message that ‘it is halal (not forbidden) to kill Ahmadis,’ Mr Lamardi said.
Bakorpakem (the Coordinating Board for the Surveillance of Faiths in Society) on Wednesday concluded that the sect deviated from Islamic teachings and recommended a government ban.
The sect, which has followers worldwide, believes Mohammed was not the final prophet, contradicting a central tenet of mainstream Islam.
The group has several thousand members in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
National police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira called for anyone who opposes the Ahmadiyah teachings ‘to refrain from committing destructive acts and assaults’.
’All citizens, be it Ahmadiyah or the rest, that feels they are under threat have the right to receive a guarantee for their safety from the police,’ he said.
Ahmadiyah was declared ‘deviant’ in January by the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority.
The central government has so far not banned the group, despite such orders being issued by a number of local governments.
Ahmadiyah communities have been the target of mob attacks and violence in various parts of the country in the recent past. – AFP