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  • Jakarta Post Blasphemy Row

    From our department of "Indonesia is a secular country":

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30444002

    [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial]"The Jakarta Post has defended the publication of a cartoon criticising Islamic State (IS) militants, after its editor was named in a defamation case.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial]The cartoon shows a flag similar to ones used by IS with the words "there is no God but Allah", and a skull and crossbones.

    A police spokesman told the BBC Mr Suryodiningrat could be summoned next week. He could be facing five years in prison for religious blasphemy."

    Now aside from the obvious criticism that IS is dragging the shahada (Islamic declaration of faith; the phrase in question) through the mud, I feel that The Jakarta Post made a misstep by publishing such a cartoon. Muslims take the shahada and every letter of the Qur'an very seriously, for them it is so sacred as to be beyond use in an editorial cartoon. Is it so serious that a man should be put in jail? No, but he certainly should have considered the sensitivities of Muslims in a country where religion plays such a prominent role. My personal feeling is that the editor believed his core audience, a growing English-literate Indonesian middle class and expats, would accept this as an honest critique of religious fundamentalism.

    The problem is that the larger society doesn't see it like that. They see the shahada not being taken seriously, that it is being associated with death and violence (and, again, IS... hello?). The other problem is the obvious: Indonesia isn't a secular country and its blasphemy laws prove it. I find it difficult to believe that flag with a skull and crossbones on it and a hail Mary would get an editor charged with blasphemy. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Last edited by DanInAceh; 12-12-14, 14:26.

  • #2
    It's also worth noting that this segues nicely with the thread about IS in Indonesia not being taken seriously. This is an example of that. Someone can go to fight for IS, train for terror and COME BACK with apparently no legal ramifications... but the editor of the Jakarta Post (who DID make a mistake and shouldn't have published it anyway) can be slapped with up to five years in jail for posting a cartoon?

    Priorities?

    Comment


    • #3
      The article says that some Muslim groups found it offensive. How many pissed off people are require to complain before a case is opened by the police?
      "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
      George Bernard Shaw

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lantern View Post
        The article says that some Muslim groups found it offensive. How many pissed off people are require to complain before a case is opened by the police?
        I'd also like to know who the "some" are, but I suspect that may very well include the likes of NU and Muhammadiyah.

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        • #5
          As evidence of why I think they would support such a move... they support the blasphemy law as it exists.

          http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...aw-review.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DanInAceh View Post
            [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial]The cartoon shows a flag similar to ones used by IS with the words "there is no God but Allah", and a skull and crossbones.[/FONT][/COLOR]
            I can see why people would so offended this group of terrorist scum being associated with Islam, but to rub it in by making a silly cartoon with the sacred words together with ISIS is very provocative.

            I can only wonder what was going through the cartoonist's mind when he decided to draw that, and what possibly the newspaper hoped to gain from publishing it.

            They must have known full well there would be a negative response to it. While I agree jail is a bit extreme, I do believe it was right to have some kind of consequence as a lot of people in this country would be highly offended. I guess if jail is the consequence, then the paper will have learnt.

            That newspaper together with Jakarta Globe have some questionable articles in that just seem to try to seek attention in a childish manner.

            I agree with you about ISIS having such an easy time coming back here. Indonesia needs to do a lot more to control this and help to get rid of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tokektokek View Post
              I can see why people would so offended this group of terrorist scum being associated with Islam, but to rub it in by making a silly cartoon with the sacred words together with ISIS is very provocative.

              I can only wonder what was going through the cartoonist's mind when he decided to draw that, and what possibly the newspaper hoped to gain from publishing it.

              They must have known full well there would be a negative response to it. While I agree jail is a bit extreme, I do believe it was right to have some kind of consequence as a lot of people in this country would be highly offended. I guess if jail is the consequence, then the paper will have learnt.

              That newspaper together with Jakarta Globe have some questionable articles in that just seem to try to seek attention in a childish manner.

              I agree with you about ISIS having such an easy time coming back here. Indonesia needs to do a lot more to control this and help to get rid of them.
              If everyone is against ISIS - isn't the cartoon just saying that ISIS is severely tarnishing the Muslim religion? How can that be offensive to Muslims? Aren't you both saying the same thing essentially?
              Things happen for a reason...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Michelle O'Brien View Post
                If everyone is against ISIS - isn't the cartoon just saying that ISIS is severely tarnishing the Muslim religion? How can that be offensive to Muslims? Aren't you both saying the same thing essentially?
                It's offensive to Muslims because the shahada is so sacred as to be "above" use in editorial cartoons. From that point of view, it's in bad taste to use such a drawing for what could arguably be a predominantly Muslim audience (though I suspect most Jakarta Post's readers are non-Muslim). It's not so much about IS as it about Muslims drawing a firm line between levity and the deen (religion).

                As a similar example, consider the time when the supposedly Muslim rapper Busta Rhymes released the track "Arab Money" where he autotuned a verse from the Qur'an. He's five percent, nobody's idea of a Muslim (especially not Muslims), but the fact that he proclaimed Islam as his religion and then used a verse from the Qur'an in music was seen as degrading the sacredness of the text. For Muslims it really is that serious.

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                • #9
                  To suggest that there is a fence around Islam separating expression which is permitted from expressions deserving of punishment is ideologically in tune with ISIS. The distinction between the head choppers and those supporting prison time for defamation is only a matter or degree.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DanInAceh View Post
                    ...it's in bad taste to use such a drawing for what could arguably be a predominantly Muslim audience (though I suspect most Jakarta Post's readers are non-Muslim).
                    If 'bad taste' were a crime there may not be anyone left on the street.
                    Sometimes I feel I must be lexdysic.

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                    • #11
                      I think, the cartoonist was being sarcastic, drew a holy words while the group act an evil way.. It's so against each other. But not all can read one's mind. And for an Indonesian Muslim, say like me, I couldn't/wouldn't stand up for the defendant like creating group page or petition to free him as I would be labeled the same. Again, nation's lack of education.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bagindo View Post
                        If 'bad taste' were a crime there may not be anyone left on the street.
                        Just Muslims since it seems all crimes are against them. Perhaps if they put aside their sensitivities and insecurities of someone of their faith possibly learning something different then the ideology that has been burned into their brains, the world would be a more peaceful place. Unfortunately, that will probably never happen so any thought of independent thinking and use of their imagination is probably not going to happen. It will remain a puppet religion and the world will never see peace with them.
                        [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bagindo View Post
                          If 'bad taste' were a crime there may not be anyone left on the street.
                          An apology is in order. Is his action criminal? Not to my mind. Was it in poor taste? Absolutely.

                          Of course, according to the legal code of modern, moderate Indonesia the cartoon is indeed blasphemous and perhaps even worthy of a jail sentence for someone(s).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What you need to remember is that the English speaking middle class readership that you mention are not the ones pressing for charges against the editor of the Jakarta Post. The group pressing the charges are a lot more closed minded (and vocal) and really have no concept of the irony that the cartoon was supposed to portray. Again this comes back to the mentality of the group members themselves, as the cartoon was originally printed in various publications around the middle east including Saudi Arabia without issue.
                            Shame the group pushing the blasphemy charge are so silent when these animals in Iraq commit such horrors in the name of Islam such as mass rapes, mass executions, beheadings etc. - and yet get all worked up when this irony is portrayed in a cartoon.

                            But then again what do we expect from a group that pushed for the closure of the Playboy Magazine and the jailing of its editor despite the magazine containing nothing that could be remotely classed as pornographic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I made mention of such readership. I would wager that such people represent a tiny sliver of the population. A much larger portion, a vast majority, have a visceral reaction to such images. This goes beyond a tiny minority of extremists in FPI, which is what I believe you are alluding to, and is part and parcel of the core beliefs of even nominal Muslims in the archipelago.

                              Remember, blasphemy laws like this have the full support of the most "progressive" and "liberal" Muslim organizations in the country. It would be very instructive to see if NU has a statement on this particular case, because I would be willing to bet that they are ESPECIALLY eager to see him prosecuted despite their supposedly liberal credentials. Why? Because it's part and parcel of how Muslims actually view and practice their faith.

                              Right or wrong, and in this case I happen to agree it's quite wrong, it's how they do things.

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