MEDAN, Aug 5 — An Indonesian has been jailed for destroying a Koran in a rare case of a Muslim being convicted on blasphemy charges in the Muslim-majority nation.
The district court in Sumatra’s Medan city sentenced Doni Irawan Malay, 44, to three years in prison yesterday, less than the four years demanded by prosecutors.
“The defendant has been found guilty of blasphemy against Islam,” said presiding judge Tengku Oyong as he read the court’s verdict.
Malay made headlines this year when he stormed out of a mosque in Medan with a Quran stuffed in his trousers.
He then ripped the book apart and tossed its pages into a rubbish bin before angry mobs apprehended him.
Rights groups have long campaigned against Indonesia’s blasphemy laws which they say are frequently misused to target Christians, Buddhists and other religious minorities in a country where nearly 90 per cent of the population is Muslim.
Last year, Indonesia’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman who was sentenced to 18 months in jail for complaining about the volume of a mosque’s call to prayer.
The case fuelled fears that Indonesia’s moderate brand of Islam was coming under threat from increasingly influential radicals.
In 2017, Jakarta’s former governor—the city’s first Christian leader of Chinese descent—was sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy. – AFP