Universitas Indonesia lecturer formally named blasphemy suspect for writing ‘God is not an Arab’ on FB

Universitas Indonesia lecturer Ade Armando.
Universitas Indonesia lecturer Ade Armando.

Before the uproar over Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s blasphemy case, there was another high-profile blasphemy allegation involving a lecturer from the prestigious Universitas Indonesia (UI), whose controversial religious commentary on social media landed him in trouble with the law.

The Jakarta Metro Police began questioning UI communications lecturer Ade Armando in June 2016 after he was accused of blasphemy against Islam for writing ““God is not an Arab. Surely God would be happy if His scripture was read in the dialects of Minang, Ambon, China, Hip-hop, blues…” on his Facebook wall.

Today, Jakarta Metro Police Spokesman Argo Yuwono announced to the press that Ade has been formally named a criminal suspect.

“Ade Armando has been named a suspect for [violating] UU ITE (Information and Electronics Transaction Act),” Argo said, as quoted by Vivanews.

Ade was charged with violating Article 28 of the controversial UU ITE, which forbids one from sharing information online that could lead to racial or religious hatred. In addition, Ade was also charged with violating Article 156a of the Criminal Code, which forbids acts of blasphemy against official religions in Indonesia. Together, the two charges could see Ade jailed for up to 11 years.

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