Two-Year Blasphemy Sentence in Indonesia

Agence France Press (via the Jakarta Globe) reports:

Tajul Muluk [a Shiite cleric] was arrested in April by police on the island of Madura off eastern Java amid anti-Shiite attacks that rights groups say were led by Sunni Muslims.

“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.

During his teachings, Muluk said the Koran was not an authentic text, that Muslims should pray only three times a day, and that the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca was not obligatory, witnesses had told the court….

Human Rights Watch (HRW) … said that Sunni militants had attacked Muluk’s village, burning houses, including Muluk’s home, as well as an Islamic school, and forcing 500 Shiite followers to flee their homes….