Ahmadiyah and the struggle for Indonesia.
Bulukumba, in south Sulawesi, is one of those places where sharia law has partially been introduced and is a good example of the problems facing Indonesia as it struggles to decide, or avoids making any decision at all, whether to take what is more or less the "western" route, secular liberal democracy, or turn back to an Islamic based system of medieval Arab heritage.
There are many ways in which the conflict between the two philosophies festers unresolved and we will look at one of them, the case of the Islamic sect, Ahmadiyah.
The Indonesian Ulema Council, not an official state body but one which carries a lot of influence in government circles, last year issued a fatwa against the group accusing it of deviating from true Islam. The Minister of Religious Affairs, obviously a state functionary, has also on occasion accused the Ahmadiyah of heresy. The Minister, Maftuh Basyuni, went so far as to say that the sect had no right to be in Indonesia since they did not acknowledge Muhammad as the final prophet. He said they could only stay if they formed themselves into a separate religion and stopped calling themselves Muslims.
These actions by respected men and institutions have emboldened certain of the less savoury elements of the Muslim "ummah" on the ground, most recently in Lombok, and now again in Bulukumba and neighbouring Jeneponto in southern Sulawesi, an extremely Islamic area by Indonesian standards.
Since Monday the 13th there have been attempts by residents of Bulukumba to forcibly evict about 125 members of the Ahmadiyah sect from the area, as well as destroy their mosque, At-Tauhid. Some members of the sect have already fled, some are in protective custody, and the mosque has closed.
It appears that local Muslims, grouped under the banner of the Aliansi Gerakan Muslim Bulukumba (AGMB), the Bulukumba Muslim Action Alliance, decided after Friday prayers last week to expel the followers of the Jamaat Ahmadiyah.
There are conflicting reports on what action the police have taken over the matter with the local police head saying 100 police personnel have been deployed in anticipation of an attack on the homes of the sect members, while television reports suggest the police are nowhere to be seen.
The attitude of the local head of the Department of Religion says:
What is certain is that the Ahmadiyah people must leave the area so they don't cause problems.
February 18th 2006.
The Minister for Religion, Maftuh Basyuni, has threatened the members of the Ahmadiyah sect with charges of blasphemy:
Unless Ahmadiyah changes its stance in regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet. (Kecuali Ahmadiyah mengubah sikapnya, tidak menganggap Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sebagai nabi).
Ahmadiyah is a Muslim sect originating in Pakistan that holds, in contrast to orthodox Islam, that Muhammed was not the last prophet. There have a number of recent persecutions and attacks on them recently and the Minister seems, again, only too willing to stoke the fires of religious hatred and intolerance.
The Minister went on to say that they had to stop calling themselves Muslims, and instead form a separate religion called Ahmadiyah. Only then would the problems cease.
Islam only allows for one God and Muhammad is his final prophet. (Islam hanya mengakui satu Tuhan dan nabi Muhammad SAW nabi terakhir).
If the government officials and the minister of religion would first eduacte themselves on what they blame ahmadis for they would know for certain that Ahmadis do believe The Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) to be the last Prophet of God. They believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the promissed messiah. A messiah that has been awaited by all, who would continue Islam on it’s right path with the same Quran and the same Kalima. The promissed Messiah has not created a new religion but is continuing Islam the way it is written in the Holy Quran. The persecution of Ahmadis should be prevented as it is against the teachings of the Holy Quran. As Muslims should know!
If this is the case then there has to be a hidden agenda for doing all this. It is quite clear that Govt is acting on the behlaf of charlatan organizations like JI which has disquised itself under the cover of Islam and it always brought bad name to Islam. All terror and voilent acts committed these days under the name of Islam leads to Jamah Islamiah. I wonder why Govt is so soft on the people whose relegion is to kill and bomb others. Far from the actual teachings of Islam. To me, if some organization has to be banned, it should be the JI.
Before imposing any ban on Ahmadiyya on the basis that they beleive a prophet after Muhammad, MUI must declare publicly deny the fundamental tenents of Islam that:
1. There will be no Promised Messiah in Islam as foretold by Prophet Muhammad himslef, and all those traditions of Muhammad relating Promised Messieh and Jesus are forged.
2. There will be no Jesus Coming to save the world, and if he does, he will not be a prophet. He will be downgraded to the level of a ‘Teacher’ only. Else, all traditions and understandings on the coming of Jesus in Ummah are void.
Will they dare to do that? I am afraid not. Because, the proposed ban on Ahmadiyya is politically motivated and has got nothing to do with the religion.
Indonesia, welcome to the club of cursed countries!