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  • » 12/29/2016, 13.18


    From accuser to accused: radical Muslim leader charged with insulting Christianity

    Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), has led the charge against the Christian governor of Jakarta for blasphemy. Now the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) has filed charges against him for statements he hade on Christmas Day.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), has been accused of blasphemy by Catholics under section A of Article 156 of the Constitution. He faces up to five years in prison.

    On Christmas Day, Rizieq was videotaped as saying, "If God had a son, then who was the midwife?" The footage of his speech was posted online. When the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) saw it, it decided to take him to court.

    PMKRI president Angelius Wake Kako said Rizieq was charged along with two other people who posted the video. The religious feelings of Christians, he added, "have been hurt and humiliated."

    Every Indonesian, said the Catholic leader, "should respect diversity and not interfere in the private affairs of other religions. Only Christians know the Christian faith. It is better for all those who do not have that knowledge to be silent."

    Rizieq defended himself saying that the accusations of blasphemy are misguided and that the prosecution's matter (religious dogma) is not sufficient for a police report.

    He admitted that anyone can sue another citizen if he has evidence, "But these must be complete and not made up."

    For months, the Islamic leader has been at the forefront in criticizing and accusing the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Purnama Tjahaja, known as Ahok, of blasphemy of Islam.

    Together with the FPI, he has organised several mass demonstrations to demand the politician’s conviction.

    For the past two weeks, Ahok has been on trial and two days ago the court rejected the defense request to throw out the case because of too many irregularities.

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    See also

    19/07/2013 INDONESIA
    Java, crowd of thousands force Islamic fundamentalists to flee
    The militant Islamic Defender Front (FPI) were trying to cause unrest in Pathean. The accidental death of a woman sparked the anger of the population, who attacked the extremists and forced them to flee. Indonesian society no longer tolerates the radical organization.

    17/02/2014 INDONESIA
    Semarang: ten former Communist Party political prisoners arrested
    Police "picked up" several ex members of the banned PKI for interrogation. The raid was carried out because of an (alleged) attempt to "re-establish" the Indonesian Communist Party. The operation began after members of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) kept the people detained under surveillance and later filed a complaint against them. Local sources say the meeting was nothing more than a "family reunion" with no political aims.

    26/08/2005 INDONESIA
    Indonesian politicians defend Christians in West Java fundamentalist attacks

    29/09/2010 INDONESIA
    Muslim fundamentalists against gay and lesbian film festival in Jakarta
    Islamic Defender Front threatens to set fire to one of the venues of the festival. Opening day is cancelled.

    04/06/2010 INDONESIA
    West Java: Christians bring their protest to the UN after their Church is closed
    Municipal authorities want to prevent Christians from conducting any public activity. After unsuccessfully seeking remedy with a number of Indonesian agencies, Yasmin Church members are launching an appeal to the United Nations for discrimination and persecution.

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