Ahok: Blasphemous Libel




By: Zeng Wei Jian
The ex capital-city governor, Mr Ahok, was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The court of judges sentenced him two years of imprisonment. The punishment is lighter than many similar previous cases. Ahok was granted full right to defend himself. He had 64 lawyers in his pocket. The biggest display of justice battle I had ever seen. They fought for Ahok before the court.

Ahok was convicted guilty. Violating the law against religious blasphemy.

Every countries in the world has her own regulation on blasphemy cases. Blasphemy law is a law limiting freedom of speech and expression relating to blasphemy or irreverence toward holy personages, religious artefacts, customs, or beliefs.

In Indonesia, blasphemy laws is to protect all religions equally. Not only for Islam. Ahok would have had given the same punishment if had he insulted Buddhism, Hinduism and Christian.

Blasphemy laws include all regulations which give redress to those who feel insulted on account of their religion.

These laws forbid the vilification of religion, religious insult, defamation of religion, denigration of religion, offending religious feelings, contempt of religion, or the usage of another similar words.

In some jurisdictions, blasphemy laws include hate speech laws that extend beyond prohibiting the imminent incitement of hatred and violence.

In the United States, a prosecution for blasphemy would violate the Constitution according to the 1952 Supreme Court case Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson. The last person hanged for blasphemy in Great Britain was Thomas Aikenhead, aged 20, in Scotland in 1697. He was prosecuted for denying the veracity of the Old Testament and the legitimacy of Christ's miracles.
Practically all of the developed Western world and East Asian developed democratic countries like Hong Kong and Japan, blasphemy laws are still technically in force.

In 1989, China banned a book titled “Xing Fengsu” (Sexual Customs) which had insulted Islam. The communist regime placed its authors under arrest. After Chinese Hui Muslims went on strike in Lanzhou and Beijing. Eventually, The Chinese government organized public burnings of the book.

In Norway, the famous writer and social activist Arnulf Overland was tried by this law, after giving a speech named "Kristendommen – den tiende landeplage" ("Christianity – the tenth plague").

So, Ahok is not a peculiarity case. Those anti-indonesia protesters should not over use the case to denounce our country.

The case is genuinely criminal act. It has nothing to do anti chinese, anti christianity, anti minority issue. I am a Indonesian Chinese descendant. And I don't vote for Ahok.

The writer is an activist for Tionghoa Anti Corruption Community (Komtak)


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