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The Indonesian Example

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by Jared (United States), Apr 23, 2008 at 09:46

The April 22nd Asian Edition of the Wall Street Journal has an op-ed , Intolerance in Indonesia, by Dadanand Dhume, a fellow at the Asia Society. He leads off his column by writing:

In the global debate about the compatibility between Islam and democracy, Indonesia is often held up as an example of the possible. Ten years after General Suharto's downfall, the world's most populous Muslim country has institutionalized free elections and the peaceful transfer of power, nurtured a lively press, and rolled back a panoply of racist laws that once targeted the country's ethnic Chinese minority. But the ongoing persecution of the Ahmadiyya, a small Muslim sect founded in late 19th century India, underscores Indonesia's – and the Muslim world's – trouble guaranteeing a bedrock democratic value: freedom of conscience. Without it, the country's proud claim to be the world's third-largest democracy will remain lacking.
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