The Governor of Indonesia's South Sulawesi province has banned Ahmadiyah, one of Indonesia's religious minorities, from practicing publicly.
The issue of Ahmadiyah, whose followers in Indonesia number around 200,000 and according to the Jakarta Post is Indonesia's "most persecuted" religious sect, has sparked widespread debate and some conflict in the country as the roles of government, democracy and religious groups come into flux.
Indonesia's two largest Islamic organizations say that the Ahmadiyah sect deviates from orthodox Islam and should be banned from declaring itself part of the faith. Acts of violence have become more frequent recently, with a human rights group estimating there were 64 attacks in 2010. Three members of the sect were beaten to death by an angry mob earlier in 2011.
The Indonesian government has said that it has done is part in dealing with the minority group and that it is up to regional governments to decide. Though the sect is banned from public practice in East and West Java, the Jakarta government has said it will take no steps to outlaw the group.
Jakarta will not outlaw Ahmadiyah [Jakarta Post, 9 Mar 2011]
South Sulawesi outlaws Ahmadiyah [Jakarta Post, 3 Mar 2011]