A leader of the country’s second-largest Muslim organization says the Ahmadiyah sect are members of Islamic society despite some of their beliefs differing from more mainstream forms of the religion.
Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Muti said that acknowledgment was based solely on the will to maintain good relationships with Ahmadi counterparts.
“Muhammadiyah acknowledges Muhammad as the final prophet, which is rather different to them. But that doesn’t change our will to maintain good relationships and improve future cooperation with them,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
He said Muhammadiyah would stand against any attempt to attack Ahmadi followers after savage displays of violence by a minority of hard-liners in the past five years.
“The government should take this matter seriously. Those who have attacked Ahmadi followers and their assets should be firmly punished,” he said.
Separately, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said that Muhammadiyah has never called for the disbandment of Ahmadiyah, despite the group often declaring that the religious sect was heretical.
“We have been telling our followers to disregard anyone who believes that there was another prophet after Muhammad. However, we are against anyone who physically attacks Ahmadi followers,” he said.
The two largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah say the disagreement with the Ahmadiyah view on the role of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad should not be displayed through violence. (asa/dic)