The government refuses to kowtow to hardliners who have been calling for a ban on the Ahmadiyah sect.
By Yenny Herawati for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta:
Vowing to uphold tolerance and civil rights, the Indonesian government has firmly stood its ground, rejecting demands from some Muslim groups including the Islamic Defenders’ Forum (FPI) to disband the Ahmadiyah sect.
“The position of the central government remains guided by the 1945 Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion and belief,” Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Polhukam) Djoko Suyanto said in a brief statement. “There should be no coercion or violence by anyone against anyone. That was the meeting’s conclusion.”
That stance amounts to setback to local authorities in West Java, who have been pressing for a ban. The meeting was attended by the mayor of Bekasi, as well as the head of the local Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) branch.