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Jakarta Post

'Mentally ill' woman arrested, charged with blasphemy for entering Bogor mosque with dog

  • Theresia Sufa

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java   /   Tue, July 2, 2019   /   11:36 am
'Mentally ill' woman arrested, charged with blasphemy for entering Bogor mosque with dog A screen capture of the viral video shows a woman, identified by police as SM, entering a mosque in Sentul, Bogor, on Sunday with a dog and without removing her footwear. (Antara/-)

The Bogor Police have detained SM, the woman who entered a mosque in Sentul on Sunday with a dog and her shoes on, and charged her with blasphemy. 

Bogor Police spokesperson Adj. Comr. Ita Puspita said that investigators had named SM a suspect based on evidence and witness statements.

“Based on the statements of five witnesses and several items of corroborating evidence like a video recording of the incident and SM’s clothing, including her shoes – which she didn’t take off when entering the mosque – investigators have named her a suspect,” she said.

SM is currently in police custody.

Ita continued, saying that SM had been charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code on blasphemy.

She added that SM’s family had provided letters from two hospitals stating that the suspect had a history of mental illness.

The police would be conducting a psychological evaluation to verify the hospitals' statements, Ita said.

SM caused a stir on social media over the weekend when a video of her entering a mosque in Sentul with a dog went viral.

Police said that SM entered the Al Munawaroh Mosque in Babakan Madang district at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, saying that she was looking for her husband. She was accompanied by a dog,

Many Muslims consider dogs to be unclean or impure, particularly their saliva, and most try their best to avoid contact with canine saliva.

All those who enter a mosque must remove their footwear before doing so; entering the holy site of worship wearing shoes or sandals is considered an act of desecration. (rfa)