A member of the Regional Council (DPRD) in Karawang, West Java, named Hitler Nababan (yes, that’s his real name, so if you’ve ever doubted wondered whether anyone would name their kid after one of the worst people who ever lived, now you know) was attacked yesterday afternoon by a mob over a supposedly insulting meme featuring religious leaders.
According to reports, last month, Hitler shared a meme poking fun at Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader/fugitive Rizieq Shihab and Amien Rais, the former People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) chairman and a revered figure among contemporary conservative Islamic movements, to the Karawang DPRD Budgeting Body WhatsApp group.
The meme shows a cartoonish depiction of the Rizieq and Amien perched on a flying air compressor, to which Hitler commented, “spy plane.”
On Monday, a screenshot of the group chat went viral after some journalists somehow acquired it. Hitler and the rest of the Democratic Party faction of the Karawang DPRD apologized to their peers from the National Mandate Party (PAN), an Islamic party which was co-founded by Amien Rais. However, the PAN politicians weren’t so quick to accept Hitler and his party’s apology.
“We deeply regret it because he (Hitler) is a DPRD member. It’s inappropriate in my opinion to post something like that, especially as the picture is of someone many people respect and is a national figure, the former MPR chairman. Rizieq too [is respected],” said Bambang Maryono, head of the PAN faction of the Karawang Regional Representatives Council (DPD), as quoted by Kompas.
Yesterday afternoon, Hitler was scheduled to meet with angry Amien Rais/Rizieq Shihab supporters at the Karawang DPRD office. However, before Hitler could apologize to them, the mob charged at him and beat him up for a couple of minutes, footage of which have gone viral on social media.
Hitler was left with bruises and cuts all over his face and body, while the Karawang Police have arrested four suspected attackers. The police say they are still under investigation.
Despite being an assault victim, the police are also going to investigate Hitler for possible online defamation, which is a violation of Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) and punishable by up to four years in prison.
“Whether or not there’s an element of defamation in the spreading of the meme, we’ll look into it,” said Karawang Police Chief Slamet Waloya.
Not only that, Hitler may also face disciplinary sanctions from his party over the whole episode. He has yet to issue any statement regarding the attack.