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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is facing persecution in Indonesia at the hands of extremists spurred on by anti-Ahmadi edicts issued by the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) and the 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree.

A fatwa issued by the MUI in 1980 (and reissued in 2005) declared that Ahmadis to be “non-Islamic group, deviant and misled” and described the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as apostates and heretics, and called for them to be banned.

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The 2008 Decree orders Ahmadis to:

“…discontinue the promulgation of interpretations and activities that are deviant from the principle teachings of Islam, that is the promulgation of beliefs that recognise a prophet with all the teachings who comes after the Prophet Mohammad.”

(Joint Decree of the Minister of Religious Affairs, the Attorney General and the Minister of Home Affairs regarding ‘Admonition and Instruction to the Disciples, Members and/or Members of the Organising Board of the Jemaat Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) and the Members of the Public’ )

 

The opening paragraph sets out the aim of the decree:

“to admonish and instruct all members of the public not to preach, advocate, or gather public support, in order to interpret a religion adhered to in Indonesia, or to perform religious activities resembling the activities of that religion, where those interpretations and activities deviate from the principles of that religion”.

Violations of the decree would be seen as a Criminal Act and any Ahmadi Muslim who is found to be in breach of the legislation can face 5 years imprisonment. (The Secretary General of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Deputy Attorney General for Intelligence and the Director General for National Unity and Political Affairs of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a Joint Circular regarding the ‘Implementation Guideline of the Joint Decree’)

 

Since the introduction of the 2008 Joint Decree, provincial and local level authorities across Indonesia have published their own anti-Ahmadiyya regulations based on the Joint Decree, creating an atmosphere of increased religious intolerance towards Ahmadis and creating the conditions for further violence, harassment and discrimination. The Ahmadiyya Community has since been living in fear.

Ahmadi mosques have been attacked and burned, the Ahmadiyya community has been banned from practicing its faith in various provinces. There have been cases of severe persecution against innocent members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with three Ahmadis beaten to death by the ‘Islamic Defenders Front’ (FPI) in 2011.

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