This is what many would have happen in the united States if it was up to them. Thankfully, it isn’t. However, for Muhammad Kace, a former Muslim cleric who converted to Christianity in 2014 and had been uploading videos to YouTube criticizing his former faith, he does not have the freedom in Indonesia to criticize Islam and is not facing 10 years in prison for because he legitimate criticism allegedly offended Muslims in the country.
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The Christian Post reports:
An Indonesian Christian YouTuber has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for posting a video that purportedly offended people across the Muslim-majority country.
On the day of his sentencing, Muslims surrounded the court demanding a harsher prosecution of the convert, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern.
Kace was arrested in Bali last August after he uploaded a sermon video in which he allegedly insulted the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to UCA News, Muslim groups filed several complaints about that video in which he said: “Muhammad is unknown by God and is only known by his followers because he is surrounded by devils.”
When prosecutors demanded a 10-year jail term for him, Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the Jakarta-based rights group Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, noted that Muhammad Yahya Waloni, a Muslim convert from Christianity, was recently convicted of a similar offense against Christians but he received only five months.
Police allege that Kace uploaded at least 400 videos insulting Islam. And he did it intentionally to stir public unrest, chief prosecutor Syahnan Tanjung was quoted as telling the court. “This is outrageous, so it warrants a stiff sentence,” he said.
In jail, Kace was beaten and tortured by a police official named Napoleon Bonaparte, who was detained in the same prison due to a corruption case, ICC said, adding that Bonaparte forced Kace to eat his excrement.
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Kace’s lawyer, Martin Lucas Simanjuntak, has said his client will appeal the sentence.
“The Indonesian government should promptly repeal the blasphemy law,” Andreas Harsono, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch Indonesia, told ICC. “Both Christian preacher Mohammad Kace and Muslim cleric Yahya Waloni need not to stay a single night in prison because of the toxic law.”
Timothy Carothers, ICC’s advocacy manager for Southeast Asia, said: “The right to speak one’s mind is essential and must be protected. This sort of treatment and punishment under Indonesian law is a shameful reality. As long as Indonesia continues to enforce religious harmony through regulation and prosecution, it will continue to achieve the opposite.”
Of course, Indonesia houses the world’s largest Muslim population and the country’s constitution is based on the doctrine of Pancasila, which in English means “Five Principles.”
Britannica defines these as the “blueprint of the Indonesian nation.”
“In the constitution of the Republic of Indonesia promulgated in 1945, the Five Principles were listed in a slightly different order and in different words: the belief in one God, just and civilized humanity, Indonesian unity, democracy under the wise guidance of representative consultations, and social justice for all the peoples of Indonesia.”
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