The nation of Indonesia continues debating its future as a secular or an an Islamic state. The present government regards itself as secular with strong ties to the Muslim religion. However, the emergence of an Islamic sect named Ahmadiyah has raised new issues for the nation since the leader of this sect claims to be another prophet who holds equal status with that of Muhammad. Thousands of protestors from groups such as the Defenders Front and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia protested in the streets of Jakarta demanding that Ahmadiyah be disbanded for its heretical views on religion. Some protestors shouted “Ahmadinyah members have violated our human rights by disturbing our practice of Islam. They are tryng to posion our minds with this new prophet nonsense.”
The Indonesian government has announced it is preparing to declare the sect an outlaw group for failure to change its views on religion. There are about 200,000 Ahmadiyah followers in a nation of over 120 million but, for some reason, the presence of this tiny sect frightens thousands of Muslims. If the group is outlawed the only people who really suffer are Indonesians because it demonstrates their religious leaders are unable to compete in the arena of ideas.