‘FPI’s move in reporting Gramedia to police is ‘unacceptable’: Activist
An activist has described the actions by hard-liner group, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), in reporting publishing company PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama (Gramedia) to police for selling a “heretical book”, as “unacceptable”.
Executive director of the Wahid Institute, Ahmad Suaedy, said Tuesday that the move to report the company to the police was an intimidatory measure toward the country’s “freedom of expression”.
“Even though the FPI is following existing procedure by reporting them [Gramedia] to the police, the very act of reporting could be deemed as a threat to freedom of expression,” Ahmad told The Jakarta Post.
He added that instead of denouncing Douglas Wilson's book, which the FPI considers "defames Islam", the FPI could just write another book to rebuff the claims made in it.
The FPI reported Gramedia to the Jakarta Police on Monday for circulating copies of the Indonesian translation of Wilson’s Five Cities that Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London and New York Shaped Global History.
The group claimed that the book suggested that the Prophet Muhammad was a crook and a pirate, who ordered his men to raid caravans and murder them as a strategy to control Medina.
The FPI accused Gramedia of conducting religious defamation and producing hate propaganda and of, therefore, seriously violating the Criminal Code. (asa/dic)