February 18, 2009
Muninggar Sri Saraswati
MUI Raps Seller of 'Tickets to Heaven'
A man from the East Java town of Blitar says he will continue to sell "tickets
to heaven" for Rp 4 million ($336), despite the Indonesia Council of Ulema, or
MUI, alleging that the man's teachings are a "deviation."
"I only teach [people] how to find a peaceful life. I accept people from
different backgrounds and religions," said Suliyani, 62, challenging the MUI to
meet him to discuss his teachings.
Speaking to Metro TV, Suliyani, 62, said he would continue to seek and accept
more followers to add to his 250 current students if the MUI did not take the
time to discuss the issue.
He said that the payments for his courses were compensation for guiding
followers, who were having problems in their lives.
"A ticket to heaven may not be the correct term, but I always assure my
followers that I will pay the money back if they do not find peace in their
lives within a year," he said.
Ahmad Su'udi, MUI secretary in Blitar, said that Suliyani's teachings were a
deviation because of the fees he charged his followers. "We will question him
about his teachings after we gather enough material," he said.
Another group the MUI deemed to be "deviant," the sect of Satrio Piningit
Weteng Buwono in Jakarta, allegedly practiced group sex rituals. Jakarta Police
named its leader, Agus Imam Solichin, as a suspect for blasphemy.