Indonesia unveils curbs on sect

Government decree orders Ahmadiyah followers to return to mainstream Islam.

    About 5,000 protesters took part in Monday's rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta [AFP]

    It is not clear whether the ministerial decree means that followers of Ahmadiyah can continue to worship privately without "spreading" their faith.
     
    "There has been no dissolution," Supanji said on Monday.
     
    The activities prohibited include "the spreading of the belief that there is another prophet with his own teachings after prophet Muhammad".
     
    Ahmadiyah followers believe the sect's founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the final prophet of Islam and not Muhammad.
     
    Fresh protest
     
    On Monday a protest by thousands of Muslims warned of a holy war against Ahmadiyah in protests outside police headquarters in central Jakarta.
     
    The protesters carried banners calling members of Ahmadiyah "infidels" that should be "exterminated".
     
    Critics will see the step as a failure by the government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the president, to uphold Indonesia's secular values and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.
     
    In Indonesia Ahmadiyah followers number only about 200,000 out of a total population of about 230 million.
     
    They have been practising the faith in Indonesia since the 1920s.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.