Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: The doctrine of Christianity has acquired its present shape through a process of change that is spread nearly over it's entire history. Rather than venture into the endless debate on the course of this evolutionary process, the author has chosen to examine the current Christian beliefs primarily on the basis of logic and reason. Among others, the subject of 'Sonship' of Jesus Christ, Atonement, Trinity and the second coming of the Messiah have been discussed at length in this book. (read it online)
US$6.99 [Order]
In this book, the author deals with an issue that has lamentably marked humankind's religious history. Relying on a wide range of interviews he conducted throughtout Pakistan, Antonio R. Gualtieri relates the tragic experience of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Their right to define themselves as Muslims has been denied by the Govt. of Pakistan acting in collusion with orthodox Islamic teachers. Ahmadis have been beaten and murdered. They have been jailed, hounded from jobs and schools, their mosques sealed or vandalized, for professing to be Muslims and following Islamic practices. This book records their testimony of Harassment and persecution resulting from their loyalty to their understanding of God and HIS revelation.
US$4.99 [Order]
By Muhammad Zafrulla Khan
This concisely written text presents the teachings of Islam and their distinct superiority over various Articles that make up the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and universally acclaimed as the greater charter of freedom. The author explains how 1400 years ago, Islam emancipated the poor and oppressed and gave the world the basic prescription for the respect and value of all human beings irrespective of class, colour or creed. Those instructions contained in the Holy Qur'an remain as relevant today as they were at the time that it was revealed. However, with the passage of time, some parts of Muslim society neglected Qur'anic teachings with an inevitable decline in moral standards. The author however concludes on an optimistic note that the revival of Islam is happening and with it a close adherence to the values laid out in the Holy Qur'an
US$7.00 [Order]
By Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.
Darurat-ul-Imam, or The Need for the Imam, spells out in depth the urgency and need for the Imam of the age, and his qualities and hallmarks as the Divinely appointed guide, the voice articulate of the age, and the constant recipient of Divine revelations, and how all these qualities are fully present in the person of the holy author.
US$7.00 [Order]

Home Worldwide Indonesia May, 2010 The Regulation of Faith …
The Regulation of Faith by the State

Qantara, Germany
May 08, 2010
Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law
The Regulation of Faith by the State

The Indonesian Constitutional Court has endorsed the country’s controversial blasphemy law, which many liberal politicians and human rights activists regard as a relic of the past that could further exacerbate religious tensions. Christina Schott reports from Jakarta

Targeted by the radical Islamic Defender Front: Religious minorities like the Ahmadis, who do not conform to orthodox concepts of Islam, are particularly affected by the blasphemy law
Targeted by the radical Islamic Defender Front: Religious minorities like the Ahmadis, who do not conform to orthodox concepts of Islam, are particularly affected by the blasphemy law

“Infidel!” “Let us spill his blood!” These were the kind of threats Indonesian director Garin Nugroho had to endure in early April this year.

In his capacity as a cultural expert, he testified before the highest constitutional court of his country that a 45-year-old blasphemy law wholly discouraged Indonesians from discussing religion, as it did not allow them the freedom to hold their own opinions.

“This law is the biggest setback for democracy and pluralism in the history of our nation,” the internationally-acclaimed filmmaker declared. The followers of various radical Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) or Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), who were waiting outside the courthouse, were able to follow his testimony on a screen. They were clearly of a different opinion.

Validation for the hardliners

Nugroho got off lightly, however, in that he was only verbally abused. Four other experts were beaten and kicked on their way to court. The judges upheld the disputed paragraphs nonetheless. With only one vote against, the nine-person body decided in April that the old law was not unconstitutional and was “indispensable for religious harmony in the country”.

A coalition of Indonesian human rights groups under the leadership of the Wahid Institute had applied for a legal revision of the blasphemy law. In their opinion, the law, introduced after a coup attempt in 1965, contradicts the Indonesian constitution, which guarantees religious freedom.

Six religions are officially recognized in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Followers of minority religions, such as Sikhs or animists, are tolerated, but those who do not profess one of the six official religions cannot hold an identity card or obtain a marriage certificate.

In practice, it is not possible to be an atheist in Indonesian society. Divergent religious orientations within the recognized religions also face difficulties. According to the blasphemy law it is illegal to publish, recommend or even seek public support for non-orthodox interpretations of faith.

As a result, interpretations of Islam that do not accord with either the Sunni or the Shia faiths are subject to legal prosecution – and all too often they are also persecuted outside the law.

Persecution of the Ahmadi

Adherents of the Ahmadiyya movement, who consider themselves Muslims but do not believe that Mohammed was the last prophet, have been particularly badly affected.

Many Ahmadis had to go into hiding after violent attacks by radical Islamists. On the island of Lombok hundreds of families are still living in refugee camps because they daren’t return to their home villages. Instead of punishing the attackers, the government forbade all public activities related to Ahmadiyya Islam.

“Religious freedom will always be restricted, because if it is unrestricted it could compromise the freedom of the majority,” says Saleh Daulay, the secretary for law and human rights of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Islamic organization in the country. “It is our duty to protect the established belief of a majority from interference. If we didn’t have the blasphemy law, we would no longer have any basis from which to prevent social unrest.”

“The blasphemy law is not going to solve the religious conflicts in this country!“ - Masdar Farid Mas’udi, legal expert for the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)
“The blasphemy law is not going to solve the religious conflicts in this country!“ - Masdar Farid Mas’udi, legal expert for the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)

In practice, the law has primarily been applied in Indonesia to punish offences against the main streams of Islam. As well as sect-like groups like the Ahmadis, individuals have also increasingly been targeted. In May 2006, for example, the Muslim woman governor of Banyuwangi in East Java was nearly ousted from office after being accused of practising a religion other than Islam. The background to this was that she was married to a Hindu.

In December 2008 a Christian primary school teacher was arrested on the Moluccas because she was said to have made disparaging remarks about Islam during class. On the basis of this rumour alone, hundreds of furious Muslims destroyed 67 houses, a church, and a meeting hall. Five people were injured. Only two of the rioters were arrested.

No resolution of religious conflicts

“The blasphemy law is not going to solve the religious conflicts in this country,” stated legal expert Masdar Farid Mas’udi of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, in the daily newspaper Jakarta Post.

“The court should have defined the terms blasphemy and heresy more precisely. If you follow the current interpretation, Islamic preachers should in fact also be criminalized for their diatribes against other religions.”

Mas’udi, however, is pretty much alone in his opinion. Both his own organization, the NU, which is regarded as moderate, and Muhammadiyah joined the radical Islamists in speaking out against a repeal of the blasphemy law. The Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), Indonesia’s highest Hindu council, and the Indonesian Buddhist Council (Walubi) were also in favour of retaining it.

The only vote against the court’s decision came from constitutional judge Maria Farida Indrati, who one month earlier was also the only one in the body to oppose another highly controversial law, that against pornography.

In her opinion, the blasphemy law is a product of the past and is no longer compatible with today’s constitution – especially in respect of the preservation of human rights and religious freedom.

“Officially, we have religious freedom in Indonesia, but in reality it’s not that free,” says Dwi Nurdianto (not his real name), who works for a social organization in Yogyakarta on Java.

“On paper I am a Muslim, although I am in fact an atheist. But I’m not allowed to be an atheist here. If I don’t belong to any religion, I can’t get official papers. And if certain people came to know my true beliefs, what would happen would be something like the scenes in front of the constitutional court. The state should really be protecting minorities from persecution. Instead, it’s arguing that it has to protect the majority.”

Christina Schott
© 2010
Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins
Editor: Lewis Gropp/

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