Another Man Jailed for Blasphemy

This time in Indonesia, where an atheist has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for offending the delicate sensibilities of the predominately Muslim population. The International Herald Tribune reports:

An Indonesian man arrested after writing “God doesn’t exist” on his Facebook page was jailed for 30 months Thursday for sharing explicit material about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) online.

Alexander Aan, 30, was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity,” presiding judge Eka Prasetya Budi Dharma told the Muaro Sijunjung district court in western Sumatra.

Aan started an atheist group on Facebook on which he shared comic strips of the prophet, Dharma said.

He also uploaded three articles on his account written about the prophet.

“Under the Electronic Information and Transactions law, we sentence him to prison for a length of two years and six months,” Dharma said.

“What he did has caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam.”

Aan was also beaten up by a crowd of Muslim barbarians before being arrested. This is fascism carrying a star and crescent.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • Sastra

    Alexander Aan, 30, was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity,”

    I think this sort of thing is the ultimate consequence of combining the belief that religious belief = identity with a culture in which “honor” is seen as something to protect — even to the point of force.

  • d cwilson

    Stories like these remind me that, as much as we complain about how non-believers are descriminated against here in the US (and we are), it is actually far worse for atheists in many other countries.

  • David D.G.

    Ed, I adore your blog, and I don’t want to derail this discussion with another round of copy editing jokes, as happened with the last blog entry. But after reading your blog for several years now, being a copy editor myself, there is something that I simply have to get off my chest.

    Regarding: “…the delicate sensibilities of the predominately Muslim population.”

    The word is supposed to be PREDOMINANTLY, not “predominately.” Something may predominate (the verb), but then it is predominant (the adjective) and functions predominantly (the adverb). I would have just made this a private email to you, but I’ve seen other readers here pick up this misspelling from its frequent use on the blog, so I thought it best to make the correction where more people would see it.

    My apologies for the off-topic comment, and I hope that I have not offended you with the “red pen” treatment. Take care, and keep up the great work that you do.

  • theschwa

    Aan was also beaten up by a crowd of Muslim barbarians before being arrested.

    Whew! Glad this did not “tarnish Islam”!!!

  • Nemo

    I like that they called it “information”. But I suppose that was just a poor translation.

  • kermit.

    Decent people of course know that fascism should come carrying a bible and a cross.

    How many of us would post what we have posted over the last few years if this were the threat we faced? It has only been a few lifetimes since atheists in the west have faced this, and worse.

    We cannot be far from it, psychologically and culturally. We must remain vigilant.