Indonesian Government Rejects Islamic Fundamentalists

Indonesia has witnessed a steady growth of power on the part of Islamic fundamentalists who wish to stifle freedom of religion in the nation. The Ahmadiyah sect, which has differing views regarding Mohammad as the last prophet, has been a target of their anger and demands for disbanding the sect. Minister of Religious Affairs, M. Maftuh Basyuni, said the government would not issue any such edict against the sect which has aroused the fury of many fundamentalist Muslims. However, he did give government sanction to making it illegal for members of the Ahmadiyah sect to engage in any attempt at converting people to their belief. His response to cries for banning the “heretic” sect was based on the Koran. He said the Quran did not allow Muslims to force other people to profess Islam.

Miza Ghulam Ahimad, who founded the sect in 1889 claiming he was another prophet. The sect is banned in many Muslim nations such as Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.