Islamic group attacks religious tolerance rally

Hundreds of members of a radical Indonesian Islamic group armed with batons have attacked moderate Muslims in the capital, Jakarta, who were holding a rally calling for religious tolerance.

Authorities say about 100 members of the National Alliance for Religious and Faith Freedom had gathered in central Jakarta to rally against a possible government ban on the minority Ahmadiyah sect.

About 500 members of the hardline Front for the Defenders of Islam infiltrated the protest, attacking demonstrators with batons until about 50 policemen intervened, but no arrests were made.

The Ahmadiyah group has about 200,000 followers in Indonesia and believes Mohammad was not the final prophet, contradicting a central tenet of Islam.

AFP

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