Adherence to the 2008 ban on their promoting their activities is, of course, in the eyes of the Muslim overlord beholder. Thus, the decree does create a climate of perpetual fear and is designed to do so, since simply to remain active in normal, daily life and identify oneself as a non-Muslim (as the Ahmadis are labeled by most mainstream Muslims) is to make a non-Islamic faith visible. This and other dhimma-type prohibitions on expressions of non-Islamic beliefs only set up excuses for later harassment and abuse.
“Religious Affairs Minister Defends Govt Decree vs Ahmadiyah,” by Dessy Sagita for the Jakarta Globe, February 10 (thanks to Twostellas):
The 2008 joint ministerial decree forbidding Ahmadiyah followers from promoting their activities is not to blame for the discrimination suffered by the minority sect’s followers, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said on Wednesday evening.
But banning them from “promoting their activities” was “not meant to discriminate against a certain group.” And of course, discriminating against them is a form of “protection” (wink-wink):
“The decree was not made to discriminate against a certain group, it was aimed at maintaining religious harmony, including to protect Ahmadiyah,” he said in a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission VIII, which oversees religious affairs.
The minister, along with National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo, were summoned by lawmakers in response to the deadly attack on the Ahmadiyah community in Banten on Sunday, as well as to the violent rampage on Tuesday in Temanggung, Central Java, that left several buildings, including two churches, vandalized.
Mainstream Muslim groups accuse Ahmadiyah members of heresy, saying that they profess their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, to be the final prophet of Islam — a tenet that runs directly against Islamic beliefs that reserve that claim for Muhammad.
The accusation is disputed by the Ahmadiyah community, but this claim is largely behind the 2008 joint ministerial decree banning Ahmadiyah members from spreading its faith.
Activists say this decree gave cover for extremists to act out their hatred. […]
Imran Muchtar, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, said he agreed with the solution offered by the minister. “First, Ahmadiyah members should repent, recognize their mistake and come back to the mainstream Islam,” he said.
“The second option they have is to leave Islam and declare a new religion. Otherwise the conflict will never end.”
Hazrul Azwar, a lawmaker from the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP), called for stronger action.
“The Ahmadiyah should be disbanded permanently, as long as the government is not strict enough the conflict is never going to end,” he said. “The fake prophet is a disgrace to my religion. Clerics in the whole world have banned Ahmadiyah, why is the government not doing the same thing?”
In response, the minister said it would be considered.
“The government hasn’t made any decision on what to do with the Ahmadiyah yet, all options are being discussed. But the suggestion to disband the Ahmadiyah will be a very valuable input for us,” Suryadharma said.