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On September 3, at least 130 Malay Sunni vigilantes attacked an Ahmadiyah mosque in Balai Harapan village, Sintang regency, West Kalimantan. The attack occurred after Friday prayers, during which the imam at a nearby Sunni mosque, Mochammad Hedi…
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Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a…
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Last month, I visited Meliana, an Indonesian woman jailed for blasphemy, in a prison in Medan, North Sumatra. The security was tight. No mobile phones. No pens. No money. We could only bring some cakes. I went there with Musdah Mulia, a…
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama after the sentencing in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on May 9, 2017.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting Indonesia this week on his first international trip as Australia’s leader. The two governments will announce a new trade deal and Australia is keen to show this as a deepening of ties between the two…
A police officer stands guard during a protest by supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, outside Cipinang Prison where he was taken following his conviction of blasphemy in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 May 2017.
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By Jailing Ahok for Blasphemy, Judges Have Sent a Chilling Message

The Jakarta court that sentenced governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama to two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam has sent a chilling message to non-Muslims in Indonesia. How could religious freedom slowly decline in Indonesia? And…
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama after the sentencing in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on May 9, 2017.
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Zulfa Nur Rohman, a student at a vocational public school in Semarang, Central Java, failed the 11th grade because of his religious faith. School administrators informed Zulfa, an adherent of a Javanese traditional faith Hayu Ningrat, that he cannot…
A sign on an Ahmadiyah mosque in South Jakarta, Indonesia reads, "This building is sealed due to inappropriate usage." The mosque was closed by government authorities in July 2015.
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The plight of the Al-Mujahadah Foundation madrassa in southern Aceh illustrates the perils of rising religious intolerance for Indonesia’s religious minorities. The school, a private institution that instructed dozens of students 8 to 25 years of age in…
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Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
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It’s not every day that a world leader whose country frequently makes the news for sectarian violence wins a religious freedom award.  But on May 30, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation in New York City will honor Indonesian President Susilo Bambang…
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United States President Barack Obama praised “the spirit of religious tolerance that is enshrined in Indonesia’s constitution, and that remains one of its defining and inspiring characteristics” during a visit to Jakarta in November 2010. Tell that to…
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Denial and blame the messenger. That is the approach of the government of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to rising religious intolerance and violence against religious minorities. Last week, Yudhoyono's spokesman Julian Adrian Pasha…
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Indonesian officials, including members of the cabinet, encourage attacks on religious minorities

The worst fears of the Shia Muslim community in Sampang in Indonesia's East Java came to pass on Aug. 20, 2012. That morning, hundreds of Sunni militants attacked the community, torching some 50 homes, killing one man and seriously injuring another. The…
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Were a hundred Indonesians to die in a suicide bombing, one would expect Indonesian politicians, political parties and religious groups to condemn it no matter who the victims were. But when such an attack occurred last year in Pakistan, silence ruled the…
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Last July, violence erupted when municipal police and hundreds of people organized by militant Islamist groups tried to break into an Ahmadiyah mosque in Manis Lor village, West Java.  At the time, I made an eerily prescient statement to the media: "When…
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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to use her visit to Jakarta this week as a platform to speak to Muslims in many countries. But she should be careful not to say that Muslims in Indonesia are “moderate,” as most diplomatic visitors…
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Friday was the 10th anniversary of a military-backed coup that halted the electoral process in Algeria, after a first round of voting assured the Islamic Salvation Front of a huge majority in Parliament. In the name of safeguarding democracy from…