Blasphemy? Rizieq Should NOT Be Prosecuted – Nor Ahok!
Some words in the news here in Indonesia, or rather the sentence of which they form part, are obviously facile and insulting to Christians.
“If God gave birth, then who would be the midwife?”. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/12/28/police-start-investigating-fpi-leader-blasphemy-case.html
They are also currently the focus of a new ‘blasphemy’ row, with the doyen of the largest Islamist fanatic gang in Indonesia reported to police by two separate organisations, one Christian, one not.
The second one comprises Muslims, a spokesman saying –
“We are focusing on hate speech….he clearly mocked other religion’s teachings … It has the potential to destroy Indonesia’s diversity.”
If the Police decide to charge Habib Rizieq with ‘blasphemy,’ he could face five years in prison.
- Such a break from his usual unpleasant activities might be no bad thing!
- I am no fan of Rizieq, and have made clear time and again my detestation of his white-shirt thugs.
- But if there is to be punitive action by the authorities against the self-styled ‘Islam Defenders’ Front’ ( FPI) it should be taken in response to violence and vandalism perpetrated against innocent people.
We have reported on it often enough, the FPI’s thuggish intimidation, and their cowardice…
…and there is a strong argument that it should be outlawed, like the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party.
- But ‘blasphemy’ charges?
- I tend to liken stuff like that to mediaeval witch-hunting – it should not be a crime anywhere in the modern world.
- If God does not like what He hears or sees (and I imagine, if He watches what goes in the world He created, He must be horrified most days!) then, as an omnipotent deity, He is more than capable of dishing out appropriate penalties to those who offend Him.
If His Name is taken in vain, why would He, in His infinite wisdom, deign to notice? The wittering of mere mortals must rank pretty low in His ‘to-do’ list.
Insulting God Almighty, calling Him rude names, or creating disgusting depictions of Him, is low-brow, infantile activity by which some dregs of society have sought to make themselves noticed, people like that obnoxious Andres Serrano.
Serrano’s sicko ‘work of art’ was grotesque, and undoubtedly hurt the feelings of very many good people. But hurting people’s feelings should not be a crime.
Mockery is an integral part of free expression, including mockery of religion, or of specific religions. Their practitioners often deserve a lot of what they get, especially when ‘believers’ who talk about ‘peace’ engage in anti-social or downright lawless behaviour.
‘Religious’ individuals who invoke God in order to go into tantrum mode over trivial things like cartoons should be sent for therapy.
If they turn their tantrums into murderous activity…
…and by that I mean incitement to murder too…
- …then they should be locked up.
- But Rizieq’s gabbling about ‘God giving birth’ should no more be cause for incarceration, or prosecution, than Governor Ahok’s reference to a verse from the Koran.
“We encourage the government to process the death penalty for Ahok as soon as possible,” said Rizieq. http://www.suara.com/news/2016/10/14/134313/
- Neither of them should have to risk jail, or any punishment, for ‘offending’ others.
- President Jokowi and Governor Ahok
- President Jokowi promised a ‘Mind-Set Revolution’ during his election campaign.
- To many of us who care about Indonesia, the Blasphemy Law, and the viciously discriminatory Tri-Ministerial Decree (issued by Jokowi’s predecessor, SBY) are obstructions to progress towards the modern democratic society envisaged when he coined that slogan.