More of that “moderate” sharia from “moderate” Indonesia. Apparently , this non-Muslim woman was irked by the shrieking, nails-on-a-chalk board call to prayer.
Meiliana, a Buddhist resident of Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, was convicted of blasphemy after complaining about the volume of the adzan (Muslim call to prayer).
The Medan District Court found Meiliana, 44, guilty of blasphemy under Articles 156 and 156a of the Criminal Code on Tuesday and sentenced her to 18 months in prison.
She reportedly said the adzan was too loud and hurt her ears in July 2016, triggering an anti-Chinese riot in which offended Muslims torched several Buddhist temples in Tanjung Balai. (Jakarta Post)
Meiliana’s complaint was made on the morning of July 22, 2016 to her neighbor Kasini, who owned a stall near her house. Reports vary on what she actually said — her lawyers claim she merely remarked that the adzan broadcast from the nearby mosque was louder than it used to be, while the legal indictment says she asked Kasini, a Muslim, to tell the mosque caretakers to lower the volume as it hurt her ears.
All parties agree, however, that Meiliana’s initial complaint was only to a single person. Over the next few days, however, her statement became distorted and rumors spread that a Chinese woman wanted to “ban the adzan”.
On the evening of July 29, 2016, a small group of people, including a mosque staff member, went to Meiliana’s house to confirm the truth of her complaint.
According to the indictment, Meiliana said “Yes, lower the volume of the
This AP and ABC report obscures the facts:
Indonesia woman irked by mosque noise convicted of blasphemy
An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman who complained about a noisy mosque to 18 months in prison for blasphemy.
By Binsar Bakkara, Associated Press, ABC News, Aug 21, 2018:
The ethnic Chinese woman, Meiliana, burst into tears as presiding Judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo announced the sentence Tuesday. She was taken from the court in handcuffs.
Prosecutors said the 44-year-old defendant violated the criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam, the dominant faith in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
The woman’s lawyer, Ranto Sibarani, said the sentence would be appealed. A conservative group, Islamic Community Forum, said Meilana’s sentence was too light.
The maximum sentence for blasphemy is five years.
Indonesia’s Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion, but in recent years blasphemy cases have been filed against people perceived as offending Islam in a possible sign of a more conservative brand of the religion gaining ground in Indonesia. The overwhelming majority of cases end with guilty verdicts.
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