Indonesian Muslims Urge Ahmadiyya Sect Disbanded

August 4, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The New York Times

Wire Service: Reuters

Several hundred Indonesian Muslims rallied on Monday in Jakarta and Surabaya, urging the government to disband the Ahmadiyya sect which many followers of Islam consider heretical.

The government of the world's most populous Muslim country has come under increasing pressure from hard-line groups in recent months to ban Ahmadiyya, whose followers refuse to accept the Prophet Mohammad as Islam's final prophet.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government issued a ministerial decree in June that stopped short of banning the sect, but warned that followers could face five years in jail for tarnishing religion.

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir addressed supporters of the hard-line organization Muslim Forum (FUI), including women and children, at a rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta on Monday.

"Ahmadiyya is not Islam, so Ahmadiyya must be disbanded. Anyone who admits to being Muslim but is still defending Ahmadiyya is an apostate," Bashir said, adding that Ahmadiyya must not claim to be part of Islam.