Police arrest leader of Indonesian Islamic sect for defaming Islam

October 31, 2007 15:15

Indonesian police have arrested a Muslim sect's leader on suspicion of defaming Islam after he declared himself a new prophet, an official said Wednesday. Ahmad Mushaddeq and six of his followers surrendered themselves to police Monday following strong condemnations of his sect, called Al-Qiyadah Al-Islamiyah. Mushaddeq, a retired civil servant, could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if he is charged and convicted of blasphemy. Hard-line Muslims, angered by Mushaddeq's claim that he is a new prophet and has been ordered by God to purify the Prophet Muhammad's teachings, have branded his group a "misleading sect" and threatened to attack its members.

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