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Muslim-majority Indonesia launches “heresy app” to report anyone practicing “unorthodox” Islam

27

21st-century Western technology and know-how meet seventh-century barbarity. The sharia app is free on Google’s Play Store. Google censors and scrubs my work and articles and that of my colleagues, but promotes this brutal app.

Muslim-majority Indonesia launches ‘heresy app’ to report anyone practising ‘unorthodox interpretations’ of its recognised religions

  • New publicly funded app lets users report unorthodox practices with a swipe
  • The Muslim-majority country has strict blasphemy laws which land people in jail
  • The app – free on Google’s Play Store – also notifies users on religious edicts
  • This summer a woman was jailed for saying a Mosque’s call to prayer was loud

By Ross Ibbetson For Mailonline and Afp, 27 November 2018

The app will also list religious edicts and blacklisted organisations and allow users to file complaints instantaneously, instead of going through the often cumbersome process of submitting a written accusation to a government office.

‘The objective…is to provide easier access to information about the spread of beliefs in Indonesia, to educate the public and to prevent them from following doctrines from an individual or a group that are not in line with the regulations,’ Nirwan Nawawi, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, told AFP in a statement.

However, rights groups fear the application could be misused by increasingly powerful hardline Islamic groups and widen divisions in a country where harassment of religious and other minorities is not uncommon.

‘This is going from bad to worse – another dangerous step to discriminate religious minorities in Indonesia,’ said Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono.

Bonar Tigor Naipospos, vice chairman of rights group Setara Institute, added: ‘This is dangerous because if mainstream society doesn’t like (a group) they’ll report them through the application – this will create problems.’

Hundreds of thousands of people across the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago who adhere to non-recognised animist and mystical faiths have long suffered discrimination and limited access to public services.

The Smart Pakem app (left and right) will allow users to report crimes against religion and also stay aware of false faiths proscribed by the government

This year an angry mob rampaged through a small community of the Ahmadiyya Islamic minority on the island of Lombok, destroying homes and forcing dozens of worshippers to flee.

The religious sect has been declared heretical by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

Indonesia, a 17,000 island archipelago nation, is often touted for its diversity and religious tolerance, but it has a wide-ranging blasphemy law that has sparked a backlash.

Criticising religion – particularly Islam, which is followed by nearly 90 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million citizens – can land offenders in jail.

This summer, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist was jailed for insulting Islam after asking her neighbourhood mosque to lower its sound system during the daily call to prayer because she found it too loud.

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