Supreme Court Says Indonesian Atheist Lawfully Jailed

By Jakarta Globe on 02:27 pm Aug 13, 2014
Category News

Jakarta. An Indonesian atheist was lawfully jailed for two-and-a-half years after being accused of blaspheming Islam, the Supreme Court decided in a ruling posted on its website on Tuesday.

The court said it upheld the sentence for former civil servant Alexander Aan, who was found guilty of disseminated a cartoon portraying the Prophet Muhammad and saying on Facebook that “God does not exist.”

“The defendant is proven to have spread information which blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad in eleven cartoons,” the court said in its ruling.

Alexander, who worked as a civil servant at a local government office in West Sumatra, was beaten by a mob before taken to jail after he posted the status and cartoons.

The Indonesian state requires every citizen to believe in God.

The Muaro district court in June 2012 sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in jail and a Rp 100 million ($8,500) fine for inciting religious hatred. The sentence was upheld by the West Sumatera High Court in August 2012.

The case sparked international outrage and Alexander was labeled a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. He was released from jail in January this year.

  • Troublemaker

    I’m just here to read all the comments from the atheists…

  • Ian

    “The Indonesian state requires every citizen to believe in God.” what a great sentence….

    I remember in the police station near the British embassy in Jakarta, i had had my passport stolen and was making the police report; the very nice police lady asked me the questions:
    Police lady: – Agama? Kristian?
    Me: – Tidak ada agama
    Police: – Setiap orang ada agama!

    In the end i moved her out the way and used her typewriter (yes, it was a while ago) and wrote “kosong” in the agama box…… what a kerfuffle! i had the station chief out and everything claiming you could not make a police report if you didn’t have a religion.

    • Fridge Jug

      People should be allowed to put Rasionalism or Freethinker or even *gasp* Pastafarian!

  • a human

    Alex was found guilty of possessing a brain.

  • Nate78

    It’s fine if you’re religious or whatever. Just don’t take anyone along with you.

  • Ian

    Actually, there are only atheists in a fox hole, if you did not have any doubts in god you would not pray you would just accept what is happening.

  • sumdood

    As long as the blasphemy law is enforced…there is nothing left to think logically or have a valid opinion on religious matters.

  • Fridge Jug

    It would’ve been easier to enforce if it requires every citizen to wear undergarment.

  • warren

    In New Zealand in 2001 JEDI was the highest rating minor religion, even over buddism and hinduism :)

  • awfulorv

    Unfortunately, we’re rapidly running out of such nations. The U.S. was our last hope and now, it too is gone, by way of “Feelgoodism”.

  • awfulorv

    When does the book burning begin?

  • Cris Bessette

    The concept of blasphemy should be considered blasphemous itself!

    Think about it:
    1. “Blasphemy’ assumes a god that is AFRAID OF WORDS
    2. “Blasphemy” assumes a god that is UNABLE TO PROTECT HIMSELF.
    3. “Blasphemy” assumes an ABSENT god.