Your photographer depicted the demonstration demanding the dissolution of the Islamic sect Jamaah Ahmadiyah in Indonesia (The Jakarta Post, March 6, p. 4). As you published the photograph, I should like to comment on it.
Islam teaches us to behave and to speak politely. Prophet Muhammad's whole life is an example of this. He never spoke harsh words nor uttered foul language either to his followers or his enemies. I think Muslims in Indonesia must strictly follow this example, especially when speaking of something about which he has no knowledge.
The Ahmadiyah opponents suppose that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died in an unaccepted way. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a claimant to the Messiah and the Mahdi.
After his declaration to Mahdihood, he was opposed by most of those around him. He was even boycotted and excommunicated. When he was about to breathe his last, it was too far for his opponents to go to visit him and watch the way he died, since they had never come near him or sat with him or had any conversation with him before.
Logically, therefore, none of his opponents knew how he died; only his followers, who happened to be present at the time, knew the truth. His opponent's claims about what happened, therefore, are absolutely false and misleading.
The fact Ahmadiyah opponents demand that Ahmadiyah followers not use any Islamic terminology is proof that Ahmadiyah has been Islamic from the beginning.
Belief in the coming of the Mahdi and the Messiah is also an Islamic tenet. The dispute is, in fact, about the interpretation of Surah Al-Ahzab verse 40; Ahmadiyah interpretation of it is supported by the Arabic lexicon and Arabic usage.
To reject it is tantamount to rejecting the whole of the Arabic lexicon. Thus it is not an issue of right or wrong, but a matter of like and dislike. If one does not like the Ahmadiyah interpretation, one is free to do so but express it in a proper manner. Let us agree to disagree, and pray for this country's unity in diversity.