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Jakarta Post

Use of Blasphemy Law criminalizes minorities

  • Alif Satria
    Alif Satria

    Assistant researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 31, 2017   /  04:52 pm
Use of Blasphemy Law criminalizes minorities Police officers stand guard as Thousands of Moslems participate in a rally in front of the Parliamentary Office in Jakarta, Tuesday, February 21, 2017. They asked the government to solve blasphemy case by Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and detain the governor. JP/Seto Wardhana. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The argument that the Blasphemy Law is necessary to mediate parties and decrease violence is at best unproven and at worst, the complete opposite of what is occurring in reality. Reports of violence from institutions such the Wahid Foundation and studies such as the National Violence Monitoring System (NVMS) indicate a steady and constant rise of religious violence in the past decade. Data from the NVMS shows an average 31.7 percent increase of religious violence in Indonesia per year since 2003 until 2014, even when the usage of the Blasphemy Law within the same year range also increases. What further solidifies the argument against the correlation of the law and decreasing violence is the fact that the bulk of religious violence (76.5 percent) actually occurred in 2011 to 2014, after the law attained nationwide notoriety on account of its judicial review in 2010. The Constitution...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.