Letter: Religious Difference (Jakarta Post)

This is in reference to Aries Musnandar’s letter titled “Why do you defend Ahmadiyah?” (the Post, May 4).

Protestantism and Catholicism are not two different religions. They are two different strains of the same faith (Christianity), in the same way that Shia, Sunni, Alawi, Sufi and Ahmadiyah Islam are all different strains of the Islamic faith.

Yes, though many Muslims will not publicly admit it, there are vastly different interpretations of Islam; and actually many tens of millions of Muslims around the world would support basic human rights for Ahmadis to practice their religion and, further, to identify themselves as Muslims rather than being forced to identify as something else because it offends a certain group of people.

Just remember that Muslims were known as Muhammadans for many years in Europe. This offended Muslims because they said they didn’t worship Muhammad so Europeans gradually began to call them Muslims instead.

I hope that all Ahmadis can practice their religion in peace. I support their right to self-identify as Muslims. I support their right to religious gatherings and therefore support their right to build and maintain mosques.

Guntur Sutriyono

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