Fauzi Bowo U-Turn: No Ahmadiyah Ban

Jakarta, Indonesia - Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo on Monday backed away from comments in which he suggested his administration was considering following the lead of West and East Java in imposing restrictions on the minority Ahmadiyah sect.

Fauzi, who drew widespread criticism from Jakarta Globe Web site and Facebook followers for suggesting the capital could implement similar regulations, said the administration would not place bans on Ahmadiyah.

He said he would follow the instructions issued by Djoko Suyanto, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs.

“His instructions were clear,” Fauzi said. “There should not be a gubernatorial decree or any kind of regulation issued in this country that is in violation of the Constitution.”

Initially, Fauzi said the administration would first analyze and review the controversial regulations issued in the Indonesian provinces.

“In any case, everything that is needed in order to ensure security, order and harmony in the lives of Jakartans is already listed in the [2008] joint ministerial decree,” Fauzi said.

The 2008 joint ministerial decree prohibits Ahmadiyah from proselytizing, though critics say the legislation encourages attacks on the sect.

There are widespread concerns Indonesia is becoming less tolerant toward minority faiths.