Islamic hard-liners in Indonesian capital break up rally promoting religious tolerance

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Islamic hard-liners broke up a religious tolerance rally Sunday in Indonesia, beating demonstrators with bamboo sticks and calling for the deaths of members of a Muslim sect they consider heretical, witnesses said.

About 200 Christians, moderate Muslims and members of Ahmadiyah — an Islamic group the government is considering banning — gathered at the National Monument in the nation’s capital of Jakarta to celebrate the country’s tradition of pluralism, said Gunawan Mohamad, a prominent magazine publisher who took part in the rally.

Ahmadiyaa
Theologically, Ahmadiyya is a cult of Islam. Their views about Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad, and their own founder, whom they regard as the Messiah, have placed them at odds with the rest of the Muslim world.
Ahmadiyyas and their mosques often come under terrorist attacks from mainstream Muslims. The latter apparently feel that they present the world with a more accurate picture of Islam.

At least 12 people were injured after members of the Islamic Defenders Front rushed the square waving flags and swinging sticks, organizer Anick Tohari said.

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

“Repent or die,” shouted men dressed in green and white Islamic outfits as they punched and kicked bleeding protesters, video footage showed.

Children and elderly women demonstrators were caught up in the clash.

Police chief Col. Heru Winarko said the rally participants deviated from a a route arranged earlier, making it impossible for authorities to prevent the attack.

Ahmadiyah, considered heretical by fundamentalists, has been targeted since a government commission recommended in April that it be outlawed.

Its followers have been persecuted for decades after religious edicts were issued by leading Muslim organizations. Many mainstream Muslims dislike the 80-year-old Ahmadiyah, which is banned in conservative Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, because it does not consider Muhammad to be the final prophet.

“Ahmadiyah has been declared as heretical, so holding a rally can be considered as a crime,” said Munarman, a spokesman for the alliance of militants. Like many Indonesians, he goes by a single name. “They are asking for it. We will not stop until they are completely disbanded.”

Indonesia is a secular country with a history of religious tolerance. But in recent years an extremist fringe has grown louder. The government, which relies on the support of Islamic parties in Parliament, has been accused of caving in to that support

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, AP, via the International Herald Tribune, June 1, 2008, http://www.iht.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday June 2, 2008.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.