JAKARTA – Indonesia’s top Islamic council issued a religious edict on Friday forbidding any liberal interpretation of Islam in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
“Religious liberalism is haram (forbidden),” said a fatwa, or doctrine, issued by the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) and seen by Reuters.
“This is a reminder for Muslims to follow the religion in a correct way and not to try to deviate from the principles,” Ma’aruf Amin, chief the MUI’s Fatwa Commission, told Reuters.
Another fatwa banned inter-religious marriages in Indonesia where 85 percent of its 220 million follow Islam.
There is widespread debate in Indonesia over inter-religious marriages with some clerics saying Muslim men can marry non-Muslim women.
But Amin said the MUI had decided to ban such marriages “for the sake of Indonesian Muslims”.
“This is the strongest view at the MUI and we are doing this to improve the religion quality of the Muslim,” Amin added.
The fatwas underlined the growing influence of hardliners in Indonesia, where most Muslims embrace a moderate form of Islam…