Atheist faces jail after Facebook remark

An Indonesian civil servant who declared himself an atheist on Facebook was arrested and is now facing jail for blasphemy after being attacked by an angry mob, police said today.

Alexander An, 30, who wrote "God doesn't exist" on his Facebook page, was beaten by a mob of dozens on Wednesday in his hometown in Pulau Punjung, West Sumatra province.

"He is suspected of having blasphemed against Islam," local police chief Chairul Aziz told AFP.

"The man told police investigators that if God really exists and has absolute power, why didn't he prevent bad things from happening in this world."

An said on his Facebook page that he was brought up as a Muslim, like the vast majority in Indonesia, where blasphemy is a punishable crime carrying a maximum five-year prison term.

Dozens of locals stormed into his office after a heated debate with them on Facebook over religion, police said.

An was also an administrator of a Facebook group promoting atheism with 1243 followers. His postings no longer appeared online following his arrest.

Date published: January 20, 2012 9:47PM
Date retrieved: January 22, 2012 23:54 PST

Views: 398

Tags: Atheism, Islam, Theocracy

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 24, 2012 at 6:28am

I'm so accustomed, Okinawa, living as I do in America, being able to say anything I like, whether about religion, the President, a political party I dislike, that I too often forget that others don't have that right. I wouldn't have any idea how that must feel. I DO know I'd have a hard time staying out of prison.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Comment by Okinawa R. on January 24, 2012 at 8:41am

i get what you mean, but while you're able to say anything that you like...the laws sets by the government are clear.

while i can say the law over here are...biased in practice most of the times, the theory is not.

sure, being an atheist grant us freedom to insult god and other fairies; but that doesn't make us look better than the theist especially when we are trying to grow.

shouldn't we use our brain better ? insults doesn't really offer any help for our status.

and i cant find the posts that guy made...guess he/another person in the admin position of the group delete them or something @_@

Comment by Judith van der Roos on January 24, 2012 at 10:14am

archaeopteryx Funny how people often "Muslims they know are quiet, unassuming, peace-loving people who would never harm anyone for believing differently from themselves" right up until they mob some poor bastard for merely expressing an opinion they have. The other line we often see is "Not all the fingers of the hand are the same" even though all those fingers so often go to making up the fist of oppression from muslims. I am with Albert here. Islam is inherently  fascist, any religion would be if it could, it is in the nature of them, plenty of historical evidence for that !

Judith vd R

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 24, 2012 at 12:26pm

Okinawa, RE: "shouldn't we use our brain better ?"

Of course we SHOULD, but at the same time, if we don't, we shouldn't have to fear government punishment. If we put every American in prison who acted stupidly, our unemployment problem would be solved, those who weren't already incarcerated, would be out building prisons.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 24, 2012 at 12:33pm

Judith vd R (lovely Dutch name, btw) I'm not FOR Islam, I'm against stereotyping and prejudice - I've worked too hard for civil rights in this country, to encourage, or even accept bigotry, whether racial or religious.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Comment by TM Kaiser on January 24, 2012 at 12:50pm

"An was also an administrator of a Facebook group promoting atheism with 1243 followers. His postings no longer appeared online following his arrest."

Who took it down? And how?

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 24, 2012 at 4:35pm

@archaeopteryx

Islamofascists Barry? How about religiofascists? You may remember that little picnic they called the Inquisition --

I like being specific. I also use the term christofascist. Haven't used taofascist as it hasn't been necessary.

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 24, 2012 at 4:50pm

So his crime wasn't merely being atheist, it was that he was insulting. Hmm. If any of the religious right nutjobs come to power, my days are numbered.

The defendant is an atheist! [gasp from the jury/mob] He is a homosexual! [judge scowls at me] And, he... he.. Oh dear Jesus help me say it... he is sarcastic!!! [bailiff shoots me in the head]

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 24, 2012 at 5:18pm

Apparently, in some places, if you live with a flock of sheep, it's a crime not to be a sheep. (One suggestion, would be to get the flock out of there.)

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 24, 2012 at 8:00pm

Entirely off-topic, but, as they say, "also in the news," the Fundies are at it again:

http://news.yahoo.com/house-bills-promote-religion-war-memorials-18...

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

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