I have written on this on a number of occasions. It seems clear to me that banning religious faiths and organizations is a step backwards in the democratic process. The recently released International Crisis Group (ICG) report agrees with that assessment.
The idea that the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) dictates policy responses. There is no doubt that the MUI has a role to play. However, it is an advisory role at best and it is definitely not a policy role. Nevertheless, it seems that the SBY government has caved into the hard-line fundamental interpretations prevalent in the MUI. This is not only a step backwards but rather a worrying development that indicates a significant shift to the right.
Going forward, leaders of moderate Islamic organizations have to step up and be much more vocal in criticizing the radical elements. The joint decree prohibiting Ahmadiyya is a victory for the hard-line conservatives and they will be emboldened by this victory and will be looking for others.
It's time for moderate Indonesians to step up and create some critical mass against the hard liners.