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Government Warns Muhammadiyah Against Politicizing Ahmadiyah Issue
March 06, 2011
Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam has struck back at Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization, which has been critical of the government’s inability to resolve the “Ahmadiyah problem.”
Dipo warned on Sunday against politicizing the Ahmadiyah unrest because it had the potential to “create communal conflicts.”
Commenting specifically on calls by Din Syamsuddin, the head of Muhammadiyah, for the government to ban the sect, Dipo said religious leaders needed to help maintain peace and tolerance in society.
Asked about Din’s call for the government to take action against a number of regional laws curtailing the rights of the Islamic sect, Dipo said the government had already issued a 2008 law banning the group from spreading their faith.
Hard-liners use the law to justify their attacks on the persecuted group.
Dipo said all elements in society should follow the law in dealing with Ahmadiyah.
He said regional governments should be aware of the law and were “responsible for the harmonious lives of their people.”
Late last month, Din said that Muhammadiyah’s stance on Ahmadiyah had not changed since it had issued a fatwa against the group in 1933. Muhammadiyah labels Ahmadiyah “misleading.”
Din said Muhammadiyah, however, would not actively seek the dissolution of the sect though the government needed to be firm in dealing with the issue.
“The government should be able to take firm action, instead of being hesitant. With its firm stance, it can prevent certain groups of people from … handling the Ahmadiyah problem,” he said.
“It is the state’s power to take stern action by referring to our Constitution because the existence of a group in society is the state’s business,” he said.
Din said Muhammadiyah would do its best to prevent its members from being mislead by Ahmadiyah followers.