Friday, June 24, 2016

Indonesian Police Investigate Whether Facebook Post Was Blasphemy

In Indonesia yesterday, Ade Armando, a lecturer in Communications Science at the University of Indonesia, was questioned by the Jakarta Police Special Criminal Investigation Unit after an employee of a media company filed blasphemy charges against Armando.  According to Tempo, the charges stem from a post by Armando on his Facebook page reading: "Allah is not an Arab. Allah will be happy if His verses are being recited with Minang, Ambon, Chinese, Hip hop, Blues style." Apparently the post was in response to a suggestion by Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister for a Qur'an recitation festival.  Armando says that the post generated a charge that he was likening God to man. Art. 156a of the Indonesia Penal Code prescribes up to 5 years in prison to anyone "who deliberately in public gives expression to feelings ... which principally have the character of being at enimity with, abusing or staining a religion, adhered to in Indonesia...."