Banning Ahmadiyah not a solution: Yenny

Wahid Institute executive director Yenny Wahid said Tuesday that East Java Governor Soekarwo’s decision to ban the Ahmadiyah sect in her province was not an effective solution as plenty of other factors would need settling after that.

“After being dissolved and banned, what next? Oust Ahmadiyah followers from East Java? Then where will they go?” Yenny said after a discussion at the Wahid Institute in Jakarta.

She said there must be a more realistic solution in responding to the Ahmadiyah issue.

“Will they have to ask for asylum overseas?” Yenny added as quoted by Antara.

On Monday, the East Java governor issued a decree in Surabaya that prohibited all Ahmadis in Indonesia’s second most populous province from any kind of activities related to Ahmadiyah.

Yenny considered the ban that violates the Constitution, which guarantees all citizens can embrace their own beliefs without intervention from the government, as unacceptable.

Whatever Yenny’s objections are, however, calls for banning Ahmadiyah have continuously been echoed by various elements of Muslim society members.

In Jakarta, Islam Defenders Front (FPI) activists staged a rally Tuesday to demand the banning of Ahmadiyah teachings in Indonesia.

Earlier, a number of Islamic organizations and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Banten had asked the government to ban Ahmadiyah in the province.

In Makassar, South Sulawesi, the Islam Congregation Forum, which groups 18 Islam organizations, urged the local administration to issue a decree on the Ahmadiyah banning.

The demand was aired in a mass rally in front of the provincial legislative council’s building. They claimed that the dissolution of Ahmadiyah was not negotiable as the sect was considered to have tainted the religion of Islam and had sparked unending conflicts.

— Indra Harsaputra and Andi Hajramurni contributed
to this article from Surabaya and Makassar

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