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Thousands of Indonesian demonstrators demand Islamic sect be banned

Thousands of Indonesian demonstrators demand Islamic sect be banned

More than 5,000 demonstrators gathered outside Indonesia's presidential palace Monday to demand that the government outlaw a moderate Muslim sect they consider heretical.
Conservative Islamic parties participating in the protest want the Ahmadiyah sect to be banned because its does adhere to the key Islamic belief that Muhammad was the last prophet.
Islam needs to be defended "from people who want to destroy Islam's teachings," said demonstrator Zairin, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name. He also said those who use violence against heretics "have to do so to defend Islam."
Hard-liners have attacked Ahmadiyah members and torched their mosques since the government said in April it was considering banning the faith. A decision is expected to be made public by the end of June.
Indonesia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but many people in the predominantly Muslim nation consider Ahmadiyah's interpretation of Islam offensive and want it prohibited.
Shouting "disband Ahmadiyah, God is great!," several thousand demonstrators wearing white Islamic robes and caps marched through the capital. They stopped at a police station to show support for militants detained for beating up peaceful protesters at a religious tolerance rally earlier this month.
Ahmadiyah, established in 1889 in Punjab, India, considers its founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a messiah, counter to traditional Islamic teaching. Ahmadiyah has millions of members around the world, with an estimated 200,000 in Indonesia.


Updated : 2021-04-23 04:36 GMT+08:00