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  1. #1
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    Buddhist woman who complained about noisy mosque jailed for blasphemy

    An Indonesian court has sentenced a Buddhist woman to 18 months in prison for blasphemy after she was accused of insulting Islam.

    Meiliana, a 44-year-old ethnic Chinese woman, had complained the Muslim call to prayer, which is repeated five times a day, was being played too loudly at the mosque near her house in North Sumatra.

    She burst into tears as the presiding judge, Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo announced her sentence on Tuesday and she was taken from the court in handcuffs.

    Prosecutors alleged she had violated the country’s criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam, the dominant faith in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

    Recent years have seen a rise in conservative and hardline interpretations of Islam, prompting fears the secular nation’s long-standing reputation for tolerance and diversity was being eroded.

    “She had said something that insulted religion, in this case Islam,” said Jamaluddin, a spokesman of the Medan district court, adding the defendant had “showed remorse and apologised”.

    Political activists have warned the country’s stringent blasphemy laws are being used to bully minorities and violate religious freedoms.

    In July 2016, mobs burned and ransacked at least 14 Buddhist temples throughout Tanjung Balai, a port town on Sumatra, following reports of Meiliana’s complaint about a mosque’s noisy loudspeakers.

    Her lawyer, Ranto Sibarani, said they would appeal the verdict.

    “We will appeal the verdict because the judges could not prove that our client has committed blasphemy,” he told The Jakarta Post.

    Responding to the sentencing, Usman Hamid, Amnesty International Indonesia’s executive director, said: “Making a complaint about noise is not a criminal offence. This ludicrous decision is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression.

    “Sentencing someone to 18 months in prison for something so trivial is a stark illustration of the increasingly arbitrary and repressive application of the blasphemy law in the country.

    “The higher court in North Sumatra must reverse this injustice by quashing Meiliana’s sentence and ensuring her immediate and unconditional release.”

    A conservative group, Islamic Community Forum, said Meilana’s sentence was too light. The maximum sentence for blasphemy is five years.

    Since 2004, 147 people have been imprisoned under blasphemy or related laws, according to monitoring by Human Rights Watch. The number of cases has slowed since 2014 under the administration of the current president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

    Last year, the former ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta was tried and jailed for blasphemy after several Muslim groups accused him of insulting Islam when he said his political rivals were using the Quran to deceive voters.

    The ruling was widely condemned and believed to be politically motivated. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama also lost his re-election bid because of the accusations.

    There are hundreds of thousands of mosques across the vast archipelago and most use loudspeakers to play the “azan” or call to prayer, which lasts a few minutes.

    But many also play lengthy versions of prayers or sermons lasting over 30 minutes, which has been deemed unnecessary by the Indonesian Mosque Council.

    Indonesia’s vice president Jusuf Kalla, who is also a member of the Council, formed a team in 2015 to review mosques’ use of loudspeakers and regulate their use and volume.

    He has previously called on mosques to use their public address systems “wisely”.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8501191.html
    .

  2. #2
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    Taken to the extreme.

    If I’m not wrong, didn’t Sonu Nigam say something similar?

  3. #3
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    Sending anyone to jail for raising an objection to the volume level of a loudspeaker is plain wrong. Although we do not know if this woman has previous for abusing the religion or breaking the law.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  4. #4
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    But she didn't do blasphemy here. All she did was complain against loudspeakers, after that she showed remorse and apologised. What about the mobs that burnt down and ransacked 14 Buddhist temples? Is that blasphemy or not?

  5. #5
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    That is just..sad.


    Tazimi Sirdar

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varun View Post
    .
    Can you now start a thread on the murder of Muslims by Hindus and Jews?

    I'll be waiting.

  7. #7
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    Doesn't sound like blasphemy at all, not sure where the judge derived that decision.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  8. #8
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    China can twist Indonesia's arm and get the woman released if it wants.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by troodon View Post
    China can twist Indonesia's arm and get the woman released if it wants.
    Why would China care about this matter?

    Also... I might be really naive but surely there has to be some previous to this story


    #MPGA

  10. #10
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    Religion of peace strikes again

  11. #11
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    If you can’t beat them join them


    They did the right thing

  12. #12
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    Good to see someone other than the Pakistanis being the torch bearers for the Ummah for a change.

  13. #13
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    Couldn't have expected anything else to happen in this situation. The woman should consider herself lucky that it's only 18 months and not 18 years.


    “I've never lost a game I just ran out of time.” Micheal Jordan

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Why would China care about this matter?

    Also... I might be really naive but surely there has to be some previous to this story
    The woman is an ethnic Chinese.


    Tazimi Sirdar

  15. #15
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    Reminds me of the story of the Prophet (pbuh) and the old woman. but obviously the protectors of the faith cannot be expected to be like the person who is their Ideal. So they protect the faith in whatever little capacity they can.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TM Riddle View Post
    The woman is an ethnic Chinese.
    China is like India with a billion people, and both of us aren't the USA who will vouch for every citizen of the country around the world and play hardball with any interfering powers.

    Besides, they aren't big on religion in the first place.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by world cup captain View Post
    Couldn't have expected anything else to happen in this situation. The woman should consider herself lucky that it's only 18 months and not 18 years.
    what do you mean?


    "Life is Pain"
    ~House~

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    This is stupidity of the highest order. How can you jail someone for complaining about loudspeakers? She has every right to complain. The power was with them whether to entertain her requests or not.

    Indonesia was anything but an extremist nation but lately i have been hearing lots of such news from the archepellago nation. A lot of Indonesians feel that USA is meddling into its affairs and trying to attack Islamic principles. Not sure how true it is.

  19. #19
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    Okay so we aint alone with extremist stuff.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by world cup captain View Post
    Couldn't have expected anything else to happen in this situation. The woman should consider herself lucky that it's only 18 months and not 18 years.
    any evidence on people being sent to 18 years for same/similar incident

    Back your claim


    TGK 237.1 owner


  21. #21
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    I don't see complaining about noise as being blasphemous at all. She could have gotten hold of ear plugs that do a great job in keeping out disturbing noises.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    what do you mean?
    In a religious state, you simply do not speak against the religion or else consequences follow. This is evident in really any religious country be it Pakistan, India, Iran or Indonesia.

    Quote Originally Posted by finalfantasy7 View Post
    any evidence on people being sent to 18 years for same/similar incident

    Back your claim
    I didn't mean exactly 18 years rather it was a figure of speech. We have seen in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh where people are killed for speaking against religion. This woman complained about an instrumental part of the religion thus a strong punishment was expected.


    “I've never lost a game I just ran out of time.” Micheal Jordan

  23. #23
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    This is stupid.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by world cup captain View Post
    In a religious state, you simply do not speak against the religion or else consequences follow. This is evident in really any religious country be it Pakistan, India, Iran or Indonesia.



    I didn't mean exactly 18 years rather it was a figure of speech. We have seen in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh where people are killed for speaking against religion. This woman complained about an instrumental part of the religion thus a strong punishment was expected.
    so you are saying this is justified?


    "Life is Pain"
    ~House~

  25. #25
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    Stupidity. One of the reasons I try avoiding Muslim nations in my travel. With my critical views, I would most certainly get in trouble.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by world cup captain View Post
    In a religious state, you simply do not speak against the religion or else consequences follow. This is evident in really any religious country be it Pakistan, India, Iran or Indonesia.



    I didn't mean exactly 18 years rather it was a figure of speech. We have seen in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh where people are killed for speaking against religion. This woman complained about an instrumental part of the religion thus a strong punishment was expected.
    I take offence at you grouping India with a bunch of extremist states. A few criminals doing their thing, and a state lawfully punishing basic human expression as blasphemy are two different things. Learn the difference.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackShadow View Post
    Stupidity. One of the reasons I try avoiding Muslim nations in my travel. With my critical views, I would most certainly get in trouble.
    Oh so you are one of those who go to a country to criticise their ways? Perhaps you should travel across North India and tell gow rakshaks that they are all stupid. They will make sure to put a garland around your neck and escort you back to your hotel safely.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Oh so you are one of those who go to a country to criticise their ways? Perhaps you should travel across North India and tell gow rakshaks that they are all stupid. They will make sure to put a garland around your neck and escort you back to your hotel safely.
    On the contrary, nothing will happen to him. The cow issue has nothing to do with eating beef - it's just another instrument used to demonize Muslims. BlackShadow being a Hindu - nothing will happen to him anyway.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Oh so you are one of those who go to a country to criticise their ways? Perhaps you should travel across North India and tell gow rakshaks that they are all stupid. They will make sure to put a garland around your neck and escort you back to your hotel safely.
    I say it to their face all the time. Those lower class fattus don't have much auqat if you show them who's the boss.


    Tazimi Sirdar

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Oh so you are one of those who go to a country to criticise their ways? Perhaps you should travel across North India and tell gow rakshaks that they are all stupid. They will make sure to put a garland around your neck and escort you back to your hotel safely.
    I would never confront locals or my hosts over these silly debates. But when I hear stories of people being sentenced to death over social media posts, then it gets scary. Imagine some drunk guy accusing you of blasphemy and authorities running a background check only to find some blasphemous social media content. That's trouble.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    so you are saying this is justified?
    No, I don't think it's justified at all. If I had the power, I would fire that judge and make sure he never gets to work for the government again. However, my point was, in a religious country, you really cannot expect a fair judgement if the case involves religion, unless you are on the religion's side.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackShadow View Post
    I take offence at you grouping India with a bunch of extremist states. A few criminals doing their thing, and a state lawfully punishing basic human expression as blasphemy are two different things. Learn the difference.
    First of all, I understand what blasphemy is and you should also understand that religious nuts will consider anything slightly against their religion to be blasphemy.

    Secondly, India has their fair share of act of violence against those who go against their religious values. I remember a couple years ago a state in India was getting couple married on spot who were celebrating Valentines Day or some religious nuts lynching muslims for eating beef and ect. Not everything is carried out through the state but a large minority in India would do quite a lot for their religion.


    “I've never lost a game I just ran out of time.” Micheal Jordan


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