If you ask me, if anyone needs further evidence of the dangers of Islamic rule, or the risks associated with the imposition of blasphemy laws in any country, they only have to look at events in Indonesia over the past couple of months. Jakarta’s Governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (who is commonly known as Ahok), was recently sentenced to two (2) years in prison for allegedly breaching Indonesia’s blasphemy laws. What were his crimes? Firstly, it would seem, that it was because he was a Christian. Secondly, while campaigning for re-election in November 2016, he dared to comment on a verse from the Quran to prove that it was not against Islam for Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim. Apparently Muslims don’t like being corrected on the wording of their so-called ‘holy’ book. Further, what better way for Islam to prevent the re-election of a non-Muslim than to misuse Indonesia’s blasphemy laws against this Christian?
Indonesia has long been regarded as a shining example of how a ‘moderate’ Islamic country can be inclusive and tolerant of other beliefs and to be able to live in peace within a largely non-Muslim world. However, this event puts that view in serious doubt. How can a simple quote, from the Quran, be seen as blasphemy? In addition to the blasphemy charge, there were also calls to add charges of spreading hate; for simply referring to the Quran? However, all of these fabricated charges were simply the reaction of a worried Indonesian government to massive street protests by Muslims outraged that a Christian dared to instruct them on the wording of the Quran.
One factor, that contributed to this perceived public outrage, is the fact that some Muslims do not really know what the Quran says. For many centuries, the Quran was almost only available in the ancient Quranic Arabic language that it was originally written in and it was up to the Imams to interpret and instruct the people in what it said. The argument, put forward by the Imams, was that it was not possible for man to truly understand Allah’s ‘miraculous and unique’ words and so, accordingly, it was not possible to faithfully translate it into other languages.
Today, even though the Quran is now available in many languages, there are lots of Muslims who have not actually read the Quran and they rely on their Imams for their understanding of the Quran. Indeed, some Muslims even consider the modern translations suspect and flawed. In this environment it is very easy for individuals, such as Imams with radical ideas or ambitions, to steer the masses in any direction that they choose and this is one of the great dangers, if not the greatest danger, of Islam; a single radical Imam can influence, incite and mislead thousands, even millions, of followers.
When you trace the origin of the public ‘outrage’, that intimidated the Indonesian Government into sacrificing Ahok, then it is clear that that is exactly what happened here. Extremists, such as the founder and Imam of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, to name just one of the culprits, incited the mob with their own fabricated, and twisted, version of what Ahok said. When a radical Imam pronounces that Allah, the Quran or the Prophet have been insulted, the mob doesn’t stop to examine the evidence but will blindly accept his word and leap into action to punish the accused. This is not a unique event and we have seen similar events many times before and in many Islamic countries.
What is also worrying about the mob mentality, that scared the Indonesian government into taking this ridiculous and unfair action, is that the street demonstrations called for more than just imprisonment. Among the outrage, spewed forth by the mob for this questionable ‘crime’, were even calls for the death penalty. While that was not an option, or even likely, in this case, it speaks volumes about the mentality of Islamic mob ‘justice’. While you are reading this, please keep in mind that we are not talking about radical or strict Islamic nations like Iran or Saudi Arabia; this atrocious misuse of blasphemy laws occurred in ‘moderate’ Indonesia.
This event stands as a stark warning to anyone who cares to see beyond the rhetoric of the Islamic apologists; even a so-called ‘moderate’ Islamic country, like Indonesia, can be easily subverted and black-mailed by radical Islam. Therefore, any Western nation that allows the introduction of blasphemy laws is ‘playing with fire’ and has lost sight of the vital importance, in a free democracy, of the right to free speech. Further, any non-Muslim nation who encourages, or even tolerates, the rise of Islam within their borders, does so at great risk to themselves.
If you wish to read more about this case, here are some links to news reports on this matter:
Note: If you doubt the comment, made above, that many Muslims are ignorant of the Quran, please view the video at this link: Woman Leaves Islam, After Reading the Quran.