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Many not satisfied about govt’s decree on Ahmadiyah
Jakarta (ANTARA News) — The Indonesian government finally issued a joint ministerial decree on Monday banning followers of Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) from carrying out religious activities, but many Muslims organizations in the country were not satisfied as it did not provide for JAI’s dissolution.
Many Muslim groups have been exerting pressure on the government to disband the JAI organization which they say is a heretical Islamic sect or had deviated from the true Islamic tenets.
“The government’s decree is still a temporary decision. It should be revised to disband the JAI and ban its misleading teachings,” Yohan Andi of the Campus Propagation Institutes Forum (FSLDK) said in Malang, East Java.
On Tuesday, tens of Islamic propagation forums grouped in the FSLDK called on the government to revise the decree which was jointly signed and issued by the ministers of religion and home affairs as well as the attorney general on Monday.
Chairman of the Advisory Council of West Sumatra’s Ulemas Council (MUI), Masoed Abidin said the JAI was not a religious organization but a form of imperialist movement aiming at destroying Islam.
Therefore, he said, although the government has issued a decree on the banning of the JAI activities, Islamic organizations should intensify their propagations in order to reduce the influence of the Ahmadiyah.
Seeing the fact that Ahmadiyah has deviated from Islam, the issuance of the ministerial decree will never satisfy Muslims. “But as citizens of the Unitary State of Indonesia, we should thank the government for restricting the movement of the JAI,” Masoed Abidin said.
Unsatisfied with the decree, the Bandung Indonesian Ulemas Forum (FUUI) called on the government to issue a firm presidential decision which banned the JAI teaching and dissolved its organization.
“The decree is subject to multi-interpretations that has the potentials to create conflict. The FUUI demands the government to issue a presidential decision which firmly dissolves the Ahmadiyah and bans its teachings,” FUUI chairman Athian M Ali said in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday.
He said that the FUUI basically hailed the joint ministerial decree but was of the opinion that it would not resolve the real problem of Ahmadiyah. There was even an impression that the government was trying to protect it.
Dissatisfaction was also expressed by an executive of the Central Board of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU).
“The issuance of the government’s decree needs to be welcomed, though we are not yet satisfied,” PBNU chairman Andi Jamaro Dulung said at Polonia airport in Medan, North Sumatra on Tuesday.
He said the best thing for the government was to disband the JAI organization so that it would not create polemics later on, particularly among Muslims. He said Muslims were deeply disturbed by a teaching which claimed a prophet other than Muhammad.
In the meantime, MUI chairman for Banten province, Wahab Afif said in Serang that the government’s decree needed to be equipped with an implementing rule which was more technical in order to stop or disband the activities of JAI.
He said he was not satisfied with decree as it did regulate the technicalities of stopping the JAI activities or its dissolution. “We hope there would be a regulation which is more technical in nature to stop its activities and teachings which are deviating from the basic tenets of Islam,” he added.
However, he said, all should abide by the government’s decree and implement it while waiting for the government to gradually issue rulings on its technical aspects.
In the meantime, the government said that basically the joint decree was not a decree to dissolve the JAI but a ruling which was expected to end JAI’s activities. “If the JAI followers ignore the decree, they are liable to legal sanctions based on the laws,” Attorney General Hendarman Supandi said.
Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto understood that what was demanded by the people was the dissolution of the JAI. But the government needed to issue a warning and instruction first. “If the decree has been issued but the JAI members ignore it, the law enforcing agencies can take action,” the minister said.
Besides that, he said, the decree also accommodated the need to respect human rights. It provided the people an ample chance to respect human rights. “The decree is issued to respect the law. If violated, the law must be upheld. That’s the main point. So, it should not create polemics,” the home affairs minister said.
On the calls for the issuance of an implementing regulation on the decree, Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa said there was no need for it.
“I don’t think the decree needs an implementing regulation because it is very self-explanatory,” the minister said.
The decree would neither need a presidential decision to reinforce it because Law No.1 /1965 on the Prevention of Religious Abuse and Defilement had specified that such a matter should be settled through a joint ministerial letter.
“So, I think, what was produced by the three ministers is already the best for all of the people,” Radjasa said. (*)