Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
Yet our artist class vilify Christianity while excusing Islam – the true and pitiless menace to free expression:
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of central Jakarta to demand the daughter of the country’s first president be jailed for blasphemy against Islam.
In a poem read at an Indonesian fashion show last week Sukmawati Sukarnoputri – the daughter of former president Sukarno and sister of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri – allegedly denigrated the adzan, or call to prayer, and suggested a traditional Indonesian hair bun is prettier than the full-faced veil worn by strict Muslims.
At a Jakarta cafe yesterday Sukmawati told The Australian she was horrified her poem, which lionises Indonesian culture over imported Islamic traditions such as the full-face niqab, had been interpreted as blasphemous, and was deeply sorry.
“I never intended to insult Muslims, which is why I did not use any words from our holy book, al Koran,” she said.
“My parents were Muslim. They educated us and all children of the nation to know our own culture. You have to know your dancing, your regional dress. That’s why I so appreciate it.”…
But she added: “This is a lesson for me. I will not put the words of Islam any more in my poetry.”
A day earlier she tearfully told a packed press conference: “From deep inside my heart I beg forgiveness from all Indonesian Muslims.”
It has not satisfied her accusers who insist she must be punished for insulting Islam.
“Personally I forgive her but this is blasphemy. I will not retract (the complaint),” said Dedi Suhardi of the 212 Alumni Brotherhood, one of the groups demanding her prosecution.
“Sukmawati must pay the price just like Ahok.”
Jakarta’s Christian governor has been sentenced to two years in prison after a trial that was widely seen as a measure of religious pluralism in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok, was “found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy, and because of that we have imposed two years of imprisonment”, the head judge, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, told the court…
The blasphemy charge related to Ahok’s reference to a passage of the Qur’an during his re-election campaign in September, which hardline Islamist groups said amounted to insulting the holy book.
He insinuated that his opponents had used a Qur’anic verse to trick people into voting against him. An edited version of the speech went viral, sparking outrage. Ahok, a Christian with ethnic Chinese roots, is a “double minority” in Indonesia.
A series of protests against him drew hundreds of thousands on to the stfreets.