18 June 2008

FPI -- The Ahmadiyya Issue


My first post this month was about the FPI. So, it seems fitting that my 100th post this month return to what got the month started, the FPI.

Wednesday saw many thousands of Muslims demonstrating in front of the Presidential Palace demanding that the Government stop pretending to restrict Ahmadiyya and their practices but rather issue an absolute ban. The President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or SBY as he is popularly known, has a problem!

The recently issued joint decision has done nothing to stem the rhetoric against Ahmadiyya by hard-line proponents of Islam who consider Ahmadiyya as a dangerous heretical sect that has the potential to undermine the "true" teachings of Islam. This is kind of like saying that the Mormons have the potential to undermine the true teachings of Jesus and the Christian God, rubbish!

Yet, this is the problem that SBY must face. And, for a President who currently relies on the support of minor Islamic influenced parties and for a man seeking re-election, he has some maneuvering to do in order to keep things pacing along as he would want them to.

The joint decision falls way short of a ban and to all intents and purposes probably does not even restrict the practice of the Ahmadiyya's take on their interpretations of Islam. The joint decision does prevent the Ahmadiyya's from proselytizing under the threat of 5 years prison but otherwise it is as weak a response as it seems that the Indonesian Ulemas Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia / MUI) would permit.

The plot thickens!

5 comments:

Polar Bear said...

Slowly slowly slowly the fundamentalist screw tighten. Next time it will be stricter observance of Ramadan. Then tighter restrictions on Christianity. Then sharia morals policing in all cities….

Rob Baiton said...

PB...

Where there is life there is hope!

Antonius Bram said...

if there is islamic extremist, then let's make christian, catholic, hindus and buddhist extremist as well in indonesia.

Rob Baiton said...

AB...

The answer for me is not to fight extremism with extremism.

Although you might find some visitors to this humble blog might agree with you.

We have to engage the moderates to defeat the extremists. When the extremists succeed in co-opting the moderates then we are well and truly on the path to the sort of extremist v. extremist scenario that you envisage.

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