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Home Worldwide Indonesia June, 2008 Indonesian Muslims …
Indonesian Muslims rally to demand ban on ‘deviant’ sect


Indonesian Muslims rally to demand ban on ‘deviant’ sect
June 09, 2008

Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they display a poster of detained hardline Muslim cleric Rizieq ShihabJAKARTA (AFP) — Thousands of white-clad Muslims took to the streets of the Indonesian capital Monday to demand the government ban a minority Islamic sect branded “deviant” by top clerics.

Around 5,000 protesters wearing white skullcaps and Islamic headscarves blocked the street in front of Jakarta’s presidential palace to demand the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ban the Ahmadiyah sect.

Protesters held up posters bearing pictures of Rizieq Shihab, who was arrested last week after members of his radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) attacked religious freedom activists not far from the palace, injuring 19.

The protesters marched five kilometres (three miles) to the police headquarters to demand Shihab and seven other FPI members be released.

Calls to ban Ahmadiyah have been mounting in Indonesia after a government board recommended in April the sect be disbanded over its “deviant” beliefs.

Ahmadiyah, which claims 200,000 followers in Indonesia, holds that Mohammed was not the final prophet, contradicting a central tenet of mainstream Islam.

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