The government reaches out to heretics.
The head of the Bengkulu office of the Department of Religion (Depag), Mukhtaridi Baidjuri, has invited any members of non-orthodox Islamic groups to give up their strange beliefs and return to the fold of government approved Islam.
We are inviting them to return to the correct teachings, ie., those based on the Quran and hadiths of Muhammad.
He said there were many followers of heretical groups such as Ahmadiyah in Bengkulu and they often tried to spread their beliefs to others. In one village alone of North Bengkulu, called Sungai Hitam, there were 150 Ahmadiyah members, he worried. The Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) had already ruled that Ahmadiyah was unacceptable, he said, because Ahmadiyah recognised a prophet after Muhammad, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Pakistan, whereas in true Islam God had no more need of prophets after Muhammad bin Abdullah.
The call had already been sent out:
We have already invited them to return to true Islam, but the problem is that whether they choose to listen to us or not is up to them.
He said no force could be used to sway them, only urging and asking. However if they insisted on keeping to their false beliefs they must not attempt to proselytize to others, because this could lead to things happening that no-one wanted, he said.