Name and Shame for Members of Aceh Sect

Banda Aceh, TAG -  Members of the recently banned Millata Abraham Muslim sect have been given until May 25 to report to city officials or have their photos and home addresses made public through the media.

Banda Aceh Mayor Mawardy Nurdin said that if members of the sect failed to report to the city’s office for Islamic affairs, the administration would leave it to the public to monitor their movements.

“If the members of this sect fail to meet this deadline, we will name every single member of this deviant sect, accompanied with photographs of them and their exact addresses, through a variety of media, including newspapers,” Mawardy said on Tuesday.

The city also ran an advertisement in Tuesday’s edition of Serambi Indonesia, the largest newspaper in Aceh, demanding all members of the sect report to the administration by May 25.

The advertisement was signed by Mawardy, along with the city’s chief prosecutor, Idham Pandu Lubis, Banda Aceh Police Chief Sr. Comr. Armensyah Thay and Kasim Sheikh, a top leader of the provincial capital’s Ulema Consultative Assembly (MPU).

Mawardy said, “The reason we will publicly name the members of this sect, which was banned by the Aceh administration on April 6, is so that the people can monitor them, and ensure that these sect members do not influence other local residents into joining their group. 

“We ideally want them to report to us, so that we can rehabilitate them and teach them to follow the right path.”

When asked about the possibility of attacks on sect members by residents, the mayor said, “That is their [sect members] responsibility. We have, after all, already given them an opportunity to report in secret to the Islamic affairs office.” 

Millata Abraham members do not recognize the Prophet Muhammad and only pray once a day at midnight, instead of five times a day as mainstream Muslims are required.

The Jakarta Globe reported last month that more than a hundred members of the sect had undergone a mass conversion to mainstream Islam. 

The sect’s leader, Zainuddin, said the idea to convert came to him in a dream on April 19 that he had while locked up in a jail cell. He is facing a five-year sentence for blasphemy stemming from his practice of the banned faith. 

“Those members who come forward will be put in some of our boarding schools or educational centers where they will receive guidance in correct Islamic teachings for a month or so, and leave these Millata Abraham beliefs,” Mawardy said. 

“The members who have [already] converted to Islam also need to report for guidance,” he said. “Who knows whether or not they have actually left Millata Abraham without proper guidance from us?”[]
Name and Shame for Members of Aceh Sect Name and Shame for Members of Aceh Sect Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on May 12, 2011 Rating: 5

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