Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anti-Ahmadiyya rage in Indonesia

The sight was impressive, tens of thousands on streets of Jakarta protesting against the Ahmadiyyas (Qadianis) but the cause wasn't.

Sea of Muslim demonstrators protesting against a micro-minuscule minority in Indonesia. It is true that most of Muslims consider the Ahmadiyyas as heretic and outside the pale of Islam but it is unjustifiable to come out in such massive strength on the streets, against your own countrymen because they have a different set of beliefs.

The rage is clearly manufactured by the mulla for his own interests. Haven't heretic sects existed in Islamic world for centuries. Religious groups as diverse as Nusayris, Druzes and Yazidis have been living together in Middle-East.

Or is it that Ahmadiyyas are the latest of the group, barely a century old. Many fundamentalists among mainstream Islamic sects also keep accusing the other sect of heresy and there is no end to such internecine disputes. Despite their propaganda, the Ahmadiyyas don't seem to be growing and it's clear that the figures are also exaggerated.

In Pakistan, the community has been persecuted for long and they (including the Lahori group) have been declared non-Muslims. Lately the same anger against the sect is witnessed in Bangladesh and even Indonesia, countries that could have shown the way to monarchies of Arab world by establishing democratic law-abiding societies.

Unfortunately this disease has spread up to Indonesia. The government is giving in to the demands and making life difficult for the sect. Rather than succumbing to the pressure of clerics, the society and government in these countries can do well to strengthen democratic values.

It is not only un-democratic and unjust to harass a sect or group of people but also un-Islamic. This should be condemned. I had written a post on Ahmadiyyas including and on Urdu poet Obaidullah Aleem, who was an Ahmedi.

In a column in Jakarta Post, Jennie S Bev reminds Muslims about the stress on compassion in Islam. And this form of bullying that because we are in greater number we will crush you, is outrageous.

It is sad to see the energies of Muslims getting channelised in the wrong way. No wonder, a columnist had remarked that all Muslim countries together haven't achieved anything in magnitude compared to the achievements of a tiny country like Korea.


A programme of the Ahmadiyya Jamat in Hyderabad Deccan (India) was cancelled by the administration on Sunday after Muslim groups including MIM and Majlis Bachao Tehreek held protests and threatened to take law in their hands if the programme was allowed to be held.
[Photo: Map of Indonesia]