Lecturer and director of the Center for Legal Pluralism Studies at Airlangga University’s School of Law
The Medan District Court issued a shocking verdict on Aug. 21. The court found Meiliana, a Buddhist woman of Chinese descent who lives in Tanjungbalai, North Sumatra, guilty of blasphemy (against Islam) under the Criminal Code for her 2016 complaint about the volume of a speaker at a mosque near her house in broadcasting the adzan (call to prayer), and sentenced her to 18 months in prison.
Many people regretted the verdict, including the religious affairs minister. The minister even tweeted that he was willing to testify at court to help Meiliana, once her case was taken up by an appellate court.
I conducted a simple online survey on social media like Facebook and WhatsApp on Aug. 21-24, asking only Muslim respondents whether they though Meiliana had committed blasphemy. From 2,000 respondents who identified themselves as Muslim, 83 percent (1,665 respondent...
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.