Apr 24th 2008 | BANGKOK
From The Economist print edition
Religious freedom is put at risk by political expediency
SEVERAL thousand hardline Muslims protested outside President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's palace in Jakarta on April 20th demanding that he ban Ahmadiyah, an unorthodox but moderate Muslim sect founded in 19th-century India that claims around 200,000 members across Indonesia. At an earlier meeting of one of the groups involved, a leader was filmed chanting, "Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill Ahmadiyah!"
[A] modern Islamic sect and the generic name for various Sufi (Muslim mystic) orders. The sect was founded in Qadian, the Punjab, India, in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (c. 1839–1908), who claimed to be the mahdi (a figure expected by some Muslims at the end of the world), the Christian Messiah, an incarnation of the Hindu god Krishna, and a reappearance (buruz) of Muhammad. The sect's doctrine, in some aspects, is unorthodox.
What's it all about?
The Ähmadiyah Sect are Islamic by nature, they are just over a hundred years old, and hold the Prophet Muhammad as the figurehead.
And, if nobody minds too much, the founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his son would also like to be considered amongst the prophets.
The Ähmadiyah started life in the Punjab, India and now they are alive and fairly well in Pakistan, Northern India, Egypt, Europe and some of the Americas.
They are in the missionary and conversion business, and although they do not have a great deal of political influence, they do have a bit of money tucked away and their main aim is to try to persuade the impressionable to take up their particular brand of Islamic Faith.
Mostly without success.
I don't care, and I'm sure most readers here don't care what Muslims think about Islam and each other. But let's face it, Muslims care about Islam and about other Muslims' fiddling with it, reforming it, as it were. And what's the usual outcome of that? Well, I don't know. Let's see.
"Kill! Kill! KIll! Kill Ahmadiyah!"
Graphic from Blazing Catfur.