A formal banning of the unorthodox Muslim sect Jamaah Ahmadiyah becomes more likely.
A Step Closer
Team Pakem (Badan Koordinasi Pengawas Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat (Bakor Pakem)), the body that oversees (unorthodox) religious activity in Indonesia, has recommended that all activities of the sect Jemaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) be stopped and the JAI dissolved.
Wisnu Subroto of the Attorney General's office says the decision is final, no negotiations will be entered into, and was taken because Ahmadiyah is genuinely beyond the pale, - heretical because it recognises another prophet after Muhammad, - and because Ahmadiyah had violated a previous agreement (see Ahmadiyya) to "correct" their beliefs and practises within 3 months.
Pakem now expects a joint government edict (SKB) (from the Religion Ministry, Attorney General, and Home Ministry) to be issued banning the sect, based on Article 156 of criminal code, the law against blasphemy, which carries penalties of up to five years jail. 
Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of Widodo Adi Sutjipto said on the 17th that a decree would shortly be prepared. 
However Attorney General Hendarman Supandji said the decree would not outlaw the group. 
Maruf Amin of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) recommends the Ahmadiyah leadership be put on trial. Their three month period of grace was over and now they could be charged with deliberately and systematically blaspheming against Islam.
He asked people not to use violence against Ahmadiyah followers and any Ahmadiyah members who agreed to repent should be allowed to claim their property. 
Show of Strength
The Forum Umat Islam (FUI) plans to hold a "long march" in Jakarta, "Apel Sejuta Umat", on 20th April, from the Istiqlal mosque to the Presidential Palace, in order to convince the government to ban Ahmadiyah. 
A videotape screened by the National Alliance for the Freedom of Faith and Religion (AKKBB) this week showed Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) secretary-general Ahmad Sobri Lubis urging followers to murder Ahmadiyah members. 
We will wage war against Ahmadiyah! Kill Ahmadiyah! Kill! Kill! Kill! And if they say we are violating human rights, then I say damn human rights.
Constitutional Court head Jimly Ashiddiqie recommended that the government not get involved in determining what were valid religious beliefs, instead leaving it up to religious authorities. 
Syafi'i Anwar of the International Cental for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) says Indonesia's reputation in the world will only worsen if Ahmadiyah is forcibly broken up, and: 
It needs to be made clear that Indonesia is based on Pancasila not religion.
On 17th April JAI officials visited the Central Jakarta police headquarters seeking police protection for Ahmadiyah members and property. 
Police general Abubakar Nataprawira said anyone who attacked Ahmadiyah members or property would be dealt with. 
All hail Backwardism!
[...] SBY, Bolehkah? Diterbitkan April 18, 2008 Indonesia , Renungan Pak Sobri Lubis mengajak umatnya untuk membunuhi orang-orang [...]
My simpathy to the Ahmadiyah people
wilders must be smiling.. it just goes to show that his film isn’t too far off from the truth..
Then Indonesian government shouldn’t ban porn so those people can have something more useful to do in their spare time, you know, it’s better than killing people.
A possible constitutional challenge should be looming! Whether anyone has the testicular fortitude to bring it remains to be seen!
There is a good argument that the “Bill of Rights” Indonesia inserted into its Constitution provide protections for freedom of religion!
Is this the first step on the path to an Islamic state and the first plank in a pan-Asia Caliphate?
This is a real shame. I understand that some of the teachings of JAI are considered blasphemous. But the same is true of Protestantism vs Catholicism – indeed Islam vs Christianity. I truly hope that the Government does (what I think is) the right thing here and comes out in support of the Constitution and Pancasila.
There is an election coming…potential candidates cannot be seen to be soft on issues…there are hard decisions to be made in the run up to the next election and perhaps this is one of them!
Religious thought in Indonesia is protected by the RI constitution. It is unlawful for an entity of the government to issue a government supported ban because of the group’s religious beliefs only, regardles of whether the group is Hindu, Christian or other denomination.
If this is true, then it begs the question…
Is the government going to let this ban stand remembering that it is the Attorney General, Minister of Home Affairs, and the Minister of Religion that are preparing a joint decision that prohibits the practice of faith?
Apparently, the decision does not outlaw or ban the group but just the practice of their faith. I am still to work out how you ban the practice of faith without in essence banning the group…it’s all semantics to me! Or as some might say “it’s semantics, stupid!”
It appears no ban involving Almadiyah will be forthcoming from the Government of Indonesia.
However, should a target be needed I suggest the LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Latter Day Saints recognize Jesus Christ as a prophet, but also believe that Joseph Smith is also a Prophet. Joseph Smith founded the organization in the 1800′s. The LDS will not renege on their belief that Joseph Smith is a Prophet later in time than Muhammad.
I have met with LDS members and missionaries in Jakarta, and have often seen the LDS missionaries throughout Jakarta. Their demeanor is always cordial.
Do you have a source for
It appears no ban involving Almadiyah will be forthcoming from the Government of Indonesia.
Because it is being reported that the recommendation has been made and there are still NGOs and other organizations lobbying for the government not to act on the recommendation which would suggest that no definitive decision has been made by the government as to a ban.
I would have thought any government statement that was definitive on a ban, either for or against, would have been reported on Ahmadiyah’s website (but it has not been so when I checked about 5 minutes ago)…
The source for the no ban comment is the 16 April, Indonesia Matters.
Some observers are quoted as saying “there is freedom of religion in Indonesia as provided by the constitution.”
To trace this discussion to its conceptual roots, one must begin with the Pancasila, which outlines the ethos of the republic. The first of five pillars states that practiced religion will recognize only one God. The statement does not detail what those religions specifically are.
As per the Indonesian constitution, it details just what religions those might be. Up until 1962, the list included Islam, Christianity (Protestantism & Catholicism) and Buddhism (which doesn’t recognize any God, by the way). In 1962, Balinese Hinduism was made official (even though it recognizes an entire pantheon of deities. Somehow, the Balinese were able to define their religion to authorities in a uniquely Balinese light). Recently, Confucianism was made legal as well.
One contributor to this discussion stated that there was “freedom of religious thought” in the Indonesian republic. I’m not quite sure what is meant by “thought,” put legally-speaking a citizen of Indonesia must nominally ensure the state that he or she is the follower of one of the state-sanctioned religions. For instance, when applying for a national ID card (the KTP), one cannot opt-out for “agnostic, or atheist,” or any other religion not so recognized by the government. One of the now six legitimate religions must be cited.
The clearest example of the religious restrictions in Indonesia regards spouses in marriage. Both must share the same religion.
It should be noted that “adat”- or traditional law, custom, and religious practice extant across the archipelago that is very often integrated into the universal religions or practiced in addition to them, is often tolerated by both Islamic organizations and the government as well. It is a kind of cultural/religious deference paid the pre-colonial cultures.
To summarize- the definition of religious freedom is as follows- one is free to choose amongst a list of six.
As per the specific topic of dispute here, whether an unconventional sect of an officially recognized religion can be curtailed, disbanded or outlawed by the government due to “heretical teachings” that is considered blasphemous unto that religion is a whole other legal issue.
The ruling made by Indonesia’s Attorney General’s office will no doubt end up in court. Then the true colors and powers of those involved will surface. What will be most interesting to observe is how the legal system’s integrity holds up under the intense pressures special interest groups will bring to bear upon the courts.
Ultimately, the ruling as such will shed light on the actual powers of external pressures as well as the actual constitution and how it is interpreted by the current justice department.
Carl I think you mean http://www.indonesiamatters.com/1539/ahmadiyya/
Pakem (Pengawas Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat, Overseers of the Peoples’ Beliefs), made up of representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, police, the State Intelligence Agency and the Religious Affairs Ministry, decided on 15th January not to ban Ahmadiyya, despite a fatwa by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) that had declared Ahmadiyya an heretical Islamic sect.
That’s from 16th January. They gave them 3 months to correct their beliefs and practises, and 3 months later is now…
I have done some subsequent research, and I was wrong about the Indonesian constitution:
The Indonesian Constitution states “every person shall be free to choose and to practice the religion of his/her choice” and “guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to his/her own religion or belief”.
The government, however, officially only recognizes six religions, namely Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
What this implies is that there is an entanglement and history of conflict between the constitution and government directives and statutes that have been issued over the years.
I am sure the Indonesia’s constitution (UUD 1945) is one of the best. It cover many basic things with the spirit of nationalism and pluralism. The problem is now Indonesia is facing threat from Wahabbism, which preach Islamic extremism.
One more thing,
The problem in Indonesia is the growing of hardline Islam sponsored by PKS. A group of hardliner intellectuals are more dangerous than thousands of militia such as FPI. Once if the PKS win the presidential election, Indonesia would be fully Islamic country.
It appears wahabbism speaks louder and listened better by Indonesians than Indonesian’s constitution. I checked the recent ongoing polling created by liputan6.com as per 20 April 2008 showed that 53% (2233 voters) agreed that Ahmadiyah should be banned.
Addition to my previous comment, the polling is still ongoing, so numbers as I mentioned could be change in anytime.
Pena Budaya said:
It appears wahabbism speaks louder and listened better by Indonesians than Indonesian’s constitution.
We interpret and implement the indonesian’s constitution based in accordance of our own needs, the world’ have been enjoyed show of the freedom expression such as Danish Cartoon and Fitna Movies and now it is our time to make another show to the world that we are not only have a freedom expression but we have better one that’s the freedom of action and we will run amok and destroy as we wish and Achmadiyah wil become our top priority to be destroyed if you really concern about the ahmadiyah fate give them shelter in your country we don’t want to live together with these peaceful people.
The exercise of your freedom of expression is admirable. However, if everyone interprets the constitution according to their needs, all will be the losers. And, your frredom of expression will be lost.
I hope you will apply your obvious energies more toward peaceful resolution of differences of thought, and will reconsider your urge to run amok. To run amok uses none of your intelligence and only places you at odds with peaceful societies.
Please consider that if you don’t want to live with the Ahmadiyya, this is easily accomplished by merely ignoring the Ahmadiyya.
For me, Jemaat Ahmadiyyah considered aand has to be banned based on two factors. First, they had violated the fundamental principles of Islamic doctrines about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the last prophet in Islam by admitting the new one known Mirza Gulam Ahmad and his revelation, Tadzkirah. And second, historically since it declared, Ahmadiyyah is nothing but as a political-comprador of the colonial government of British in India to reduce the muslim resistence on colonialism.
After 21 days of eating the Jakarta air it seems to me that all this trouble is highly misplaced. Please let the world know there are better things to do and more urgent things to do than haggle over religion and threaten to kill people. Come on Indonesia get a life and grow the F up.
Congratulations people of Indonesia that you still have some people who can critically think and identify their enemy.
It’s “wahabism” that’s always behind, by funding and influence, declaring Ahmadi Muslims kafir. They rally people around on this issue for “political” gains. This formula is working so far. If you look at the history of Pakistan, their next step is your parliament.
It is interesting that Indonesia only recognizes six religions! How do the citizens resident in the jungles and villages of Papua or other remote parts of the archipelago get classified if they are animists. I did not see a category that permits the worship of the sun, trees, rocks, rivers, and other natural objects…
Perhaps Papuans are not really recognized as citizens of Indonesia…or perhaps some local government official just assigns them an approved religion? Maybe Merah could explain further on this?
Indonesian ID card (KTP) is mentioning the person’s religion and what is in KTP as it will be noted in demograpic records. KTP is a way to recognise one’s religion (and Indonesians have to bring KTP everywhere they go). So then, if people live in remote areas and have no access to local authorities, then I have doubts that they were even having KTP or even demographically recorded by local authorities. If they do, perhaps it will be recorded in KTP as “Believer” or could be “Hindu”. I remember when I was visiting Kalimantan, some Dayaks in remote areas who have kaharingan beliefs (sort of animism) were categorised as Hindu.
It is sad,it seems that Indonesia will one day go the same way as Yugoslavia. To avoid this from happening, it’s time for the Central Government to act and clamp down on the activities of fanatical groups. Today will be the Ahmadiyah, tomorrow will be the Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and others. What will become of Indonesia in another 5 to 10 years time. Why are we destroying our own country! Why is President Susilo not taking a firm hand? What we do now need is another ‘Soeharto’ to control the current situation in the country.
The speech had successfully depicted it as the religion of tyrant. Anyway, I do not feel it as a surprise because FPI had aligned themselves with terror and anarchy. You can find many similar organizations in Indonesia, just named it FUI, FBR, MMI … They are above the law and immune to self-consciousness. So, it is worth to note that there is no religious freedom in Indonesia because their government is impotent and has ambiguous minds. No wonder poverty and foolishness now become the colors this county
How do the citizens resident in the jungles and villages of Papua or other remote parts of the archipelago get classified if they are animists. I did not see a category that permits the worship of the sun, trees, rocks, rivers, and other natural objects…
The answer is that they come under a good deal of pressure to sign up to a “proper” religion. At various times in the past this pressure has been enforced (particularly during the anti-communist hysteria of the mid-sixties when not having an “official” religion was seen as tantamount to atheism, and atheism of course, was associated with communism).
Nowadays there is often little need for such enforced pressure – as remote societies are drawn by development into the “Indonesian Nation” the experience of that intergration exerts a powerful force… The concept remains that to be a fully paid-up member of the Indonesian nation one must have an official religion; if an “animist” emerges from the jungle and attempts to take his place in “Indonesia” he will be disadvantaged and looked at askance unless he converts to something “civilised”. For an example of this see how Sumba in NTT has very, very rapidly become almost entirely nominally Christian (not much more than a decade ago around half the population was reportedly “animist”).
I wrote about it here a couple of weeks ago: