Muslims converting to Bahai.
Thirty-one Muslims in the Donggala area of Central Sulawesi have become apostates and converted to the BahÃ¡'Ã religion, it is said, inviting the anger of their neighbours who are sticking firm to Islam, and the displeasure of the local bureaucracy.
The head of the Religious Affairs Office in Palolo sub-district said that the Bahai faith, led by one Mulahi, a former marriage counsellor, entered Banpers village in the 1990s, and Mulahi had persuaded 31 local people to convert.
But some Muslims in the village are not taking it lying down:
The homes of the Bahai followers in Banpers are often pelted with stones.
Nor is the local government, which held a meeting between concerned Muslims and the Bahaists in September, 2007, wherein the Bahai adherents were warned to have a think about which religion they wanted to belong to, either Islam, like before, or another religion which was recognised by the government, because Bahai is not. Another meeting will be held soon, to find out whether the Bahaists have had enough thinking time. antara
The Department of Religion (Depag) has also sent down an investigative team, says Muhammad Ramli in Palu, and they will have to decide whether Bahai is a sect within Islam. If so, then the converts, or their leaders, can likely be prosecuted for blasphemy. Depag also wants to find out how Bahai has been spread in the area, because if it is being preached at people who already hold a religion, then that may also constitute a crime, he said. antara
November 8th. Two out of the seven households that converted to Bahai are said to have returned to Islam, after the two heads of the households, Mulahi (70) and Muslimin (40), met with local leaders. Four others refused to change back to Islam, while the seventh did not turn up. antara