July 13, 2012
Moderate Indonesia Jails Shiite Cleric for 'Blasphemy'
An update on this story.
Shiite cleric Tajul Muluk was accused of telling his followers that the modern Koran was not the original version, and the "true" Koran remains in the hands of Imam Mahdi.
The judge's succinct verdict:
The defendant was proven to promulgate blasphemy against Islam. Therefore Tajul shall remain in prison under a two-year sentence.
Additional related indications of Indonesian Muslim tolerance and moderation were noted in the Jakarta Post report of the outcome of the "blasphemy" proceedings against Tajul Muluk:
- This past December, hundreds of residents of Madura Island attacked houses, burning down Tajul Muluk's home. Dozens of Shiite followers who fled are still unable to return to their homes because the villagers threaten to kill them if they do.
- The Sunni Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has demanded the government ban Shiism, and declared another Muslim sect, Ahmadiyah, deviant. The promulgation of Ahmadiyah has since been banned by the Religious Affairs Ministry.
- Oppression and violence against minorities, including Catholic and Protestant Christians continues to proliferate. Hundreds of churches have been burned down or closed by devoutly Islamic groups.