Indonesian man Alexander Aan who made international headlines after he was arrested for questioning the existence of god in a post on Facebook was considering renouncing atheism, police in West Sumatra said on Monday.
“He said he wanted to repent. He asked to have the ‘shahada’ recited, but we don’t know when [it’s going to happen],” Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz told the Jakarta Globe.
The shahada is the statement of faith required to convert to Islam.
Chairul said the information that Alexander wanted to reject atheism came from his parents.
Alexander, a 31-year old civil servant, is facing five years in jail for writing “God does not exist” on a Facebook page he moderated called “Ateis Minang” (“Minang Atheists”).
Chairul said the police had finished interviewing witnesses and securing evidence and were no interviewing expert witnesses.
“We are going to ask IT expert since [his statement] was put on Facebook as well as expert on Islam, such as the Indonesian Council of Ulema [MUI],” Chairul said.
MUI is the organization that first laid a complaint with police against Alexander for using verses from the Koran to reject the existence of god.
Chairul said, however, that even if Alexander repented, he would still be charged.
“The blasphemy has already occurred. As with burglary cases, the legal process goes on even though the burglar has apologized and returned what he stole,” he said.