Indonesia Shia Cleric Illegally Jailed for Blasphemy
An Indonesian court sentenced a Shia cleric Thursday to two years in prison for blasphemy, claiming his teachings deviated from mainstream Islam and had caused “public anxiety”.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Tajul Muluk was arrested in April by police on the island of Madura off eastern Java amid anti-Shia attacks that rights groups say were led by Wahhabis. “Based on witness accounts and evidence presented, the defendant has been proven legally and convincingly guilty of blasphemy causing public anxiety,” chief judge Purnomo Amin Tjahjo told the Sampang district court.
Prosecutor Sucipto, in his indictment, claimed that Tajul Mulik has said to his disciples that the current Al Quran was not the original version and the the original one is still in the hands of the imam Mahdi,”. But Tajul Muluk strongly rejected these claims and said our holy book of Quran is same as Sunni brothers and there is not any differences.
The judge claimed that Muluk had propagated Shia teachings in his village of Nangkernang, where a nearby branch of the country’s top Islamic clerical council dubbed the denomination “deviant” from mainstream Islam. Muluk said that he would file an appeal against the ruling.
“I feel that my dignity has been crushed. They accused me of being an infidel. I will file an appeal for the sake of my pride,” he told the court.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised the court ruling and urged the Indonesian government to immediately release Muluk and repeal the country’s blasphemy laws. The international rights watchdog said that Sunni militants had attacked Muluk’s village, burning houses, including Muluk’s home, as well as an Islamic school, and forcing 500 Shia followers to flee their homes.