“The offending statements included ‘I am a Muslim and I truly testify that there is no god but Allah. I have seen Allah, have you?’ and ‘If a fake Muslim cleric has entered the political realm, then Quranic verses are not absolute truth anymore.'”
From the looks of these statements, Bahari seems to be a devout Muslim who may simply have been speaking imprecisely, claiming an experience of Allah’s presence as having “seen” Allah, and apparently declaring it impossible for a “fake Muslim cleric” to enter “the political realm,” not saying that the Qur’an was untrue.
Nonetheless, he gets five years in prison for “insulting Islam” and “spreading hate speech.” Note the use of the term “hate speech.” All over the West the idea is becoming accepted that there is a readily and objectively identifiable category of speech that is classified as “hate speech,” and must be criminalized. The danger of this idea is that “hate speech” is actually only what those with the power to define it say what it is. The very concept of “hate speech” is simply a tool of the powerful to silence speech they dislike. As we see in this case.
Amnesty International has urged the government to release Alnoldy Bahari, a farmer from Pandeglang regency in Banten, who was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay Rp 100 million (US$ 7,150) by Pandeglang District Court on April 30 for blasphemy.
In November last year, Alnoldy was reported by his neighbors who accused him of insulting Islam and spreading hate speech on Facebook.
The offending statements included “I am a Muslim and I truly testify that there is no god but Allah. I have seen Allah, have you?” and “If a fake Muslim cleric has entered the political realm, then Quranic verses are not absolute truth anymore”.
He was arrested in December 2017 and charged with blasphemy under Article 156(a) of the Criminal Code, and Article 28(2) of the Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) Law….