Indonesian Leader: Atheists Have Freedom in Our Country… Except That One Guy We Put in Jail

It’s unbelievable how out of touch with reality some people are. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently asked the chief of the Indonesian Supreme Court about the freedom of religion in his country:

Supreme Court chief Mahfud MD. (Riza Fathoni - Kompas)

“Since its inception, the Supreme Court has guaranteed the freedom of atheists and communists in this country, as long as they do not disturb the freedom of people of other religions. Freedom is equality.” Mahfud (MD) said,

He was lying through his teeth.

We know that because Alexander Aan was beaten up, arrested, and convicted all for saying “God doesn’t exist” on Facebook and sharing some Muhammad cartoons on his group’s FB page.

Aan didn’t disturb anyone’s freedom whatsoever.

But he was still sentenced to spend 30 months in prison.

Let’s hear the Indonesian Supreme Court chief explain that.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1430445395 Mark McCoy

    Any time the phrase “you have freedom to do…” is followed by the words “as long as…”, then you don’t really have freedom do you??

    • 3lemenope

      You have the freedom of speech…

      …as long as you don’t scream “fire!” falsely in a crowded room, casing a panic.
      …as long as you do not slander.
      …as long as you do not defraud in the context of a commercial transaction or advertisement.

      Would you thus argue that Americans don’t really have the freedom of speech?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-David-Barber/100000327055940 Michael David Barber

        Oliver Wendell Holmes said “Your freedom to throw a punch ends at the beginning of my nose.”

    • Glasofruix

      Your freedom stops when someone else’s freedom begins.

  • Stev84

    There is an easy loophole because the Indonesian Supreme Court would certainly disagree with the claim that no one’s freedom was disturbed. They’d say that religious people were insulted or something. So would a huge number of American Christians in similar circumstances. Just the controversies about atheist billboards.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Aan didn’t disturb anyone’s freedom whatsoever.

    Sure he did.  He disturbed their freedom to not be offended.

    (#sarcasm JIC)

  • LesterBallard

    His existence as an atheist is their problem. It’s that simple. 

  • gski

    On the other hand, the freedom to beat, arrest and convict trumps the freedom of speech.

  • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

    The Chief of the Indonesian Supreme Court missed his calling when he did not go into business selling used cars with sawdust packed transmissions.  “Freedom?  Have we got freedom!  Cash only.  Once you drive it off the lot it’s yours.  No returns, no refunds.”

  • Gretchen Becker

    Thanks for posting this, Hemant! Good to meet you at the SSA conference (…well, officially at Buffalo Wild Wings which is even better).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      You too, Gretchen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000993563089 Aragon Candu

    Clearly a liar in denial with political correctness attitude was being soft spoken because he’s expecting to buy 100 Leopards Germany tanks to control the Papuans

    This man is correcting his statement just a day after in other location
    http://www.tempo.co/read/news/2012/07/12/173416582/Mahfud-Md-Bantah-Legalkan-Ateisme-dan-Komunisme


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