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June 11, 2008
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada expresses grave concern regarding the announcement on June 9, 2008 by the Government of Indonesia that it will accede to the demands of militant religious extremists who seek to impose their strict, rigid and violent interpretation of Islamic law in Muslim-majority countries.
The measures adopted by the Indonesian Government deny the members of the Ahmadiyya Community the rights to profess, practice and propagate their faith as Islam and live as Muslims.
The recent actions of the Government of Indonesia violate the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which it is a signatory and member. Its recent actions are also a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Constitution of Indonesia confines the right to freedom of religion only to certain enumerated religions (namely, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism). The Indonesian Government's latest action is a step towards a complete ban on Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and as in other countries is aimed towards declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims; thereby denying them freedom of religion, a freedom which Ahmadis have possessed since their establishment in Indonesia in 1920's.
As reported by CBC Radio and other media, for the past many months, these religious extremists have been waging a campaign of violence and killing against the members of the Ahmadiyya Community throughout Indonesia, a peaceful and law-abiding minority Muslim sect that espouses the motto, "Love for All, Hatred for None."
The extremists have committed arson and violence against the property and persons of members of the Ahmadiyya Community with little or no legal consequences. Recently, these religious extremists have escalated their efforts by demanding the dissolution and the banning of the Ahmadiyya Community which would result in the confiscation of all of its property and the complete denial of their fundamental rights of religious freedom. The extremists threaten that, if their demands are not met, they will wage a violent jihad against the members of the Ahmadiyya Community and to inflict widespread violence against them and their sympathizers.
Instead of curbing the perpetrators of violence and lawlessness, the Indonesian Government has decided to bow to extremist pressure, a capitulation which will only encourage further intolerance, disorder and the endangerment of the lives and property of law-abiding citizens. The experience of countries like Pakistan constitutes persuasive evidence of this phenomenon. As the Indonesian Government's actions fell short of declaring a ban on the Ahmadiyya Community, the extremists have expressed their displeasure and have promised to continue their campaign of violence until all of their demands are met.
Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority populated country and is viewed as a secular democracy. However, Indonesia has begun to follow the pattern of countries like Pakistan, which began bowing to the pressure of extremists in the early 1970's when the Ahmadiyya Community was declared as non-Muslim, and then in 1984, when the religious profession, practice and propagation of Islam by members of the Ahmadiyya Community was made a criminal offense. As the history of Pakistan has shown, militant extremists persist in their disregard and disdain for law and order and shall always seek to successively expand their campaigns of violence and killing, as well as to establish themselves as the sole governing force. As a result, unless Indonesia reverses its current course, it is feared that a slippery slope will result which will inevitably result in the total deterioration of freedom of conscience and religion, and law and order, as well as increasing instability in governance in Indonesian society.
Muslim Community was established in 1889 by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad in Qadian, India under divine guidance. He proclaimed himself
to be the awaited Promised Messiah and Mahdi (reformer) whose advent
was foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him), as well as the awaited reformer foretold by
all of the other great religions of the world. His stated mission
was to convey to the
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