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South Sumatra Muslim organizations shun reverse of Ahmadiyah ban
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A number of radical Muslim organizations in South Sumatra have said they are willing to uphold a governor’s decree banning the Ahmadiyahsect at all costs, as reported by Tempo Interaktif.com.
“This decree is beneficial for Muslims in preserving and saving the tenets of faith from the insults of the Indonesian Jemaah Ahmadiyah (JAI), which disdains the purity of the Islamic faith,“ chairman of the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) for South Sumatra, Sodikun, told a media briefing Saturday.
He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should not annul orcancel the decree, which was introduced by acting Governor Mahyuddin last Monday, as it would damage the local community’strust in the government.
Sodikun is also calling for the president to issue a decree officially banning and dissolving the Ahmadiyah sect in its entirety for propagating a false interpretation of Islam.
“We also advise the ulema (religious scholars) and habaib (descendents of Prophet Muhammad) across Indonesia to pressure their governors and regents to issue similar decrees, if the president fails to issue a decree banning Ahmadiyah,” he said.
Apart from the MUI South Sumatra chapter, several organizations have voiced similar concerns, including the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, Islam Defenders Front and the Indonesian Mujahidin Council.
There are at least 600 Ahmadiyah followers in the province, including 200 members in Palembang, with nine Ahmadiyah mosques spread across Palembang, Burnai Burlian, Pematang Panggung, Sungai Bungi, Lahat, Lubuk Linggau, Ogan Komering Ilir and Banyuasin.
Most Ahmadiyah followers in South Sumatra are of Javanese descent, originally relocated to the area through a government-sanctioned transmigration program.
MUI has said Ahmadiyah’s claim that Ghulam Ahmad is a prophet defies one of the basic doctrines of Islam – that Muhammad is the last prophet and final prophet.
On June 9, the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Home Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office issued a decree prohibiting Ahmadiyah members from prosleytizing.
The decree came the same day thousands of hard-liners gathered in front of the State Palace in Jakarta to demand the dissolution ofthe sect. (amr)