We have been following the increasing abuse of the legal system in Indonesia, including the application of Sharia law. Now, an atheist (identified only as Alexander) has been arrested and faced five years in jail for questioning the existence of God on his Facebook page. It is the latest blasphemy arrest, discussed earlier in a column.
Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz stated that Alexander, 31, a civil servant in West Sumatra, is charged with blasphemy. He said that it was better for Alexander to be in police custody anyway given the threats against his life and that he is being advised by “the West Sumatra Coordinating Agency to Supervise Religion and Beliefs (Bakorpakem) as well as the Ministry of Religious Affairs.”
Alexander was previously attacked after he wrote that “God does not exist” on “Ateis Minang” (“Minang Atheists”), his Facebook site. There is no word on any arrests of the attackers but they did arrest the atheist.
The violence against atheists is encouraged by Western leaders and religious figures who have denounced them as akin to terrorists or simply a threat to humanity. Atheists are now ranked with rapists in polls.
As the Obama Administration continues to work with such nations to develop speech codes vis-a-vis religion, these cases show the mentality of countries pushing for a “balance” between free speech and religion. It also shows why the use of the Brandenburg standard is so dangerous in the hands of such officials who view free speech as the cause of imminent violence.
Source: Jakarta Globe