Indonesia: implications of the Ahmadiyah decree

14 Jul 2008

An Indonesian government decree restricting activities of the Ahmadiyah sect demonstrates how hardline Islamic groups, which have little political support, have been able to use classic civil society advocacy techniques to influence government policy, according to this briefing, which examines the factors leading to government action on 9 June against a sect whose members have lived in the country since 1925. They include systematic lobbying of the bureaucracy over the last five years for action against Ahmadiyah; the search by hardline groups including Hizb ut-Tahrir for issues that would gain them sympathy and help expand membership; the unprecedented influence under the Yudhoyono government of the Indonesian Islamic Scholars Council; and political manoeuvring related to national and local elections.

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