LDII battling to avoid the heretic label

The Council of Muslim Clerics, (Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI)), has in the past viewed some practises of the LDII, the Indonesian Islamic Propagation League, a hardline group in the past linked to the Indonesian Islamic State movement, (Negara Islam Indonesia (NII)), as being “exclusivist” and therefore unacceptable.

The MUI’s main objections to LDII concern the latter’s worship or prayer routine, and its attitude to other Muslims. For a person to join LDII prayer services he must first register with the LDII, and once prayers have begun no one may leave the room, it was said. The LDII was also accused of teaching that other, non-LDII, Muslims were not quite the real thing.

LDII chief Soehartono Rijadi now says however that the membership and prayer rules are no longer “relevant” and at their upcoming national congress the governing council will agree to change such policies to put their worship practices more in line with other groups in the country like Nadhatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah.

Soehartono hopes that this will enable the LDII to lose the deviant stigma it has recently had, and show that it is not exclusive. He also said that he hopes the MUI will clarify the status of LDII so as to prevent any unpleasantness from the easily excitable masses, as in the case of Jamaah Ahmadiyah in 2005 and 2006.

A day later Maruf Amin of the MUI said the matter of the LDII’s deviancy or otherwise was still being discussed. On the same day Abdullah Syam of the LDII invited people to come to LDII mosques and see that they were not closed to outsiders, and that the teachings did not insult others. (http://www.indonesiamatters.com)

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