Indonesian Government Analyzing Ahmadiyah Sect

Indonesian Minister of foreign affairs Hassan Wiryuda told a press briefing the government has yet to make a decision regarding the status of the Ahmadiyah sect which was condemned by the Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs In Society. Since the sect was condemned by that body, there have been a series of outbreaks against its followers, with schools, mosques and houses being attacked. Hassan insisted “Ahmadiyah followes are not persecuted by the government” even though the sect was not Islamic in the true sense of the faith.

The apparent confusion in the government is reflected in Hassan’s claim there was freedom of religion in Indonesia, but he also said no group should be allowed to make an object of ridicule toward things which religious followers regard as sacred. He said to do so “would be an act of reckless malice.”

Indonesia does have freedom of religion, but there is still an ambiguous zone in which government and religious leaders are trying to define what, if anything, is not allowed to be said regarding religion.