Ahmadiyah followers insist they are MuslimsJennie S. Bev, Palo Alto */ ?>
Embattled sect: A National Police Mobile Brigade officer guards a mosque belonging to a congregation of the Ahmadiyah sect in Ciampea, Bogor, on Saturday. Locals attacked members of the congregation Friday night. JP/Theresia Sufa*/ ?>
JAKARTA: Ahmadiyah congregation members have refuted suggestions made by mainstream Indonesian Muslims that they should abandon Islam and form a new religion.
“We object to those who do not consider us a part of Islam,” Ahmadi’s Garut branch executive Rahmat Syukur Maskawan said, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com on Sunday.
In response to the growing animosity, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), suggested last week that Ahmadiyah followers should no longer claim that they are a part of Islam.
Followers of the sect would suffer from isolation if they insist on associating themselves with Islam while at the same time violating the basic teachings of the religion, NU deputy secretary-general Enceng Shobirin said.
The campaign to outlaw Ahmadiyah, a frequent target of persecution, was political. Rahmat said, adding that he deplored the statement made by NU and questioned the organization’s commitment to defending minority groups and upholding pluralism.
Ahmadiyah has been declared “heretical” by the Indonesian Ulema Council for saying that its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet. Such belief is against the dominant view among Muslims that Muhammad was God’s last prophet. — JP