Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Crime Facebook Government Social Networks The Internet News Your Rights Online

Indonesian Man Faces Five Years For Atheist Facebook Post 907

Posted by samzenpus
from the unlike-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "31-year-old Alexander Aan faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for posting 'God does not exist' on Facebook. The civil servant was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of dozens who entered his government office at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board on Wednesday. The Indonesian man was taken into protective police custody Friday since he was afraid of further physical assault."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Indonesian Man Faces Five Years For Atheist Facebook Post

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:36PM (#38782967)

    This is what you get for using Facebook. I hope it's not too late for all the other Facebook users to learn.

    • Re:He deserves it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:40PM (#38783001)

      This is what you get with religious rule.

      • Re:He deserves it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FreeCoder (2558096) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:46PM (#38783059)
        This is true for most of USA too. While you probably won't get jailed for saying such, there are just as ridiculous laws and customs based on Christianity, especially compared to other more saner countries. Especially about gay marriage and abortion.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rrohbeck (944847)

          +1 just my thought.
          There's only a quantitative difference between the US and Indonesia. In many areas of the US you can not be elected to public office if you won't swear on the Bible.

        • Re:He deserves it (Score:5, Informative)

          by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:04PM (#38783235) Homepage

          While you probably won't get jailed for saying such...

          ...you can still get the Christian mob to lynch you, eg. Jessica Ahlquist [blogspot.com]

          • by Chrisq (894406)

            While you probably won't get jailed for saying such...

            ...you can still get the Christian mob to lynch you, eg. Jessica Ahlquist [blogspot.com]

            The thing is the Muslim lynch squad is literally a lynch squad and they are obeying their law.

          • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:38PM (#38783563)
            The difference between that young lady's story and what happened in Indonesia is this: people were just talking, online, about how much they hate her. When she is being beaten up, or people are shooting at her, or Molotov cocktails are being thrown, then maybe the comparison will make sense.

            In America, you can voice your dissent, you can call people garbage, and you can do so for any reason -- even if you are calling them garbage for putting an end to a blatant constitutional infraction. The constitution protects the rights of atheists and religious people of all varieties equally, and that includes the right to be rude, insulting, and to hate the very constitution that provides you with those protections.
        • Re:He deserves it (Score:4, Informative)

          by frn123 (242374) <(ee.spalemi) (ta) (maps)> on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:39PM (#38783569)

          Whether or not you see gay marriage a positive thing -
          there are lots of fine atheist countries whose population is
          against gay marriage.

          For US citizen it might look like gay marriage is religious issue - i assure you that it is not the case.

          • Re:He deserves it (Score:5, Informative)

            by BlueParrot (965239) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:41PM (#38784755)

            I don't actually know of any atheist country except maybe some communist dictatorships.

            Most countries with a high number of atheists ( such as Sweden ) are best described as secular. The difference between a secular government and an atheist one, is that the secular one doesn't comment on whether there is a god or not. Secular governments are built on the principle that it is not for the state to promote religious beliefs ( or lack thereof ).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by OakDragon (885217)

          This is true for most of USA too. While you probably won't get jailed for saying such, there are just as ridiculous laws and customs based on Christianity...

          Agreed. The US has many outdated laws based on the Old Testament. For example, did you know that murder is actually illegal in many states (particularly in the Bible Belt). And theft has many restrictions placed on it. Please, keep your tired old religions out of our law books!

    • by slasho81 (455509) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:54PM (#38784901)

      This is what you get for using Facebook.

      Five years is a harsh punishment. I hope twitter users get a shorter sentence.

  • This is terrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:38PM (#38782987)

    It's one thing persecuting people for their religion but persecuting atheists is going too far.

    • by Egg Sniper (647211) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:03PM (#38783223)

      It's one thing persecuting people for their religion but persecuting atheists is going too far.

      A small minority of 'different' people in your community often makes people uncomfortable when part of the culture is professing just how right and good it is to agree and identify with the majority. When that minority attempts to become vocal they are by definition wrong and therefore it is justifiable to punish them. If all you have to prove that you're living your life correctly is the assertion by yourself and those around you that it is so any argument against what you believe is dangerous. Certainly authority figures (from politicians to parents) won't allow dissenting opinions to spread, like some horrible disease.

      People aren't persecuted for their religion. They are persecuted because their religion (or ethnicity or social status or etc.) is different from the majority of those around them. Group-think and ignorance will attack what it doesn't understand or can't control in whatever form it takes.

      One could argue that, historically, atheism is the most persecuted belief system still in practice. It would explain the relatively small proportion of the population that atheism makes up, as well as why that small proportion is spread throughout the world with no great central region to call home.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:34PM (#38783537)

        Atheism isn't a belief system, but the rejection or lack of one.

        "Atheism is a belief system" is a definition born of an American cultural background. Since theism is the majority position (86%), the distinction between strong disbelief in make-believe beings Vs. mere indifference in same, is given exaggerated importance.

      • Re:This is terrible (Score:5, Informative)

        by walshy007 (906710) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:41PM (#38783593)

        It would explain the relatively small proportion of the population that atheism makes up, as well as why that small proportion is spread throughout the world with no great central region to call home.

        I'd say australia is doing fairly well with the atheist business, the census five years ago indicated that approx 30% of australians don't believe in god. And of those that are religious australia has among the lowest church attendance rates in the world, even the believers rate it fairly low on their priorities placing family, work, leisure time and even politics ahead of it.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:40PM (#38782999) Homepage Journal

    31-year-old Alexander Aan faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for posting âoeGod does not existâ on Facebook. The civil servant was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of dozens who entered his government office at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board on Wednesday. The Indonesian man was taken into protective police custody Friday since he was afraid of further physical assault.

    The posting was made on a Facebook Page titled Ateis Minang (Minang Atheist), which Aan created. At the time of writing, it had over 1,700 Likes. Aanâ(TM)s posting has been removed, but supporters on the Page are urging police to release him.

    I wonder if they were trying to make a believer out of him or just needed to re-assure themselves that they are right and he is wrong. Theirs must be a merciful god, a god of great compassion.

    Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country. Indonesia, the worldâ(TM)s most populous Muslim nation, recognises the right to practice six religions in total: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism. Atheism is, however, illegal. According to Indonesian criminal law, anyone who tries to stop others believing in a faith could face up to five years in jail for blasphemy.

    - further proving that governments are inherently evil. [slashdot.org]

    • by vlm (69642) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:46PM (#38783053)

      Indonesia ... recognises the right to practice six religions ... Buddhism ... Atheism is, however, illegal.

      Isn't this kind of contradictory?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roman_mir (125474)

        When was the last time that religious followers needed a self-consistent, non-contradictory, logical message?

        Besides, Buddhism does teach bizarre things about rebirth and such, and as an atheist I don't understand how that makes any sense at all.

    • I fail to follow the leap in logic you made. Gov't is nothing more than 'garbage in, garbage out'. It's the people that made the laws, and it's the religion that people believe in that is dictating what laws are created.

      I see this as just more evidence that institutionalized religion is the evil here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SlippyToad (240532)

      I am not sure how religious bigotry proves your thesis that government is inherently illegal.

      Howeer, as I often say to people who hate government (usually for no coherent reason), you are welcome to try the alternative. It's called feudalism, and it will develop wherever nobody is in charge.

      Ignoring this is retarded, and it is what stupid fucking people without a real education do.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Maybe you should follow the links in the comment (there are further links), but the point is not to abolish government, the point is to set the law above government in a way that it could not be circumvented.

        The law above the government is Constitution (in USA at least), and it is completely abandoned. Suggesting that the choices are: what you have in USA and feudalism is stupid. How about: what you have in USA now and what you should have in USA - government that follows the law that is set above it exactl

  • "The devil made me do it!"
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:41PM (#38783013)

    Yet another 3rd world reaction to the eternal pornographic issue - my deity is larger than yours.

    • by RyanFenton (230700) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:51PM (#38783105)

      Yet another 3rd world reaction to the eternal pornographic issue - my deity is larger than yours.

      Reminds me of one of my favorite Carl Sagan quotes:

      How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.

      Even the religions with science in the name ("Christian Science" and "Scientology") are profoundly against freedom of inquiry, except where it is used to glorify their mythology. This story kind of backs up the whole "our god is a little god, we must coddle it" approach.

      Ryan Fenton

      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:07PM (#38783267) Journal

        Sorry, but Sagan turned out to be, well, wrong:

        Pope John Paul II - "Faith can never conflict with reason" [caltech.edu]
        an interview with the gent who runs the Vatican Observatory [msn.com]
        Why Catholics Like Einstein [columbia.edu]
        A small peek into the whole controversy [wikipedia.org]
        a bit of insight [firstthings.com]

        Everyone points at Galileo (quite a few centuries back) and screams, but turns a blind eye towards everything else that's been going on ever since.

        • by Xtifr (1323)

          One exception (and yes, it's nicely ironic that the Catholics have become just about the only form of Christianity that isn't anti-science) doesn't contradict what Sagan said: "Hardly any major religion..."

          (The Anglicans show some signs of sense as well, but as far as I know, they haven't officially accepted evolution, like the Catholics have.)

        • by Kittenman (971447) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @04:23PM (#38783983)
          Hmmm - I followed those links (thanks for providing - good ground work!) and have to comment that a good science textbook is a good science textbook, regardless of whether it was written by a catholic, a jesuit, an atheist or whatever the heck. At least one of the links point to good science textbooks (reportedly) written by catholics. If true, that's great. The world needs more good science textbooks. But the links imply that catholics embrace science because they have written these textbooks. I'd argue that's coincidence. Maybe they also all had dark hair and were right-handed.

          Being a catholic doesn't preclude you from writing a good science textbook. It doesn't help, though.

          And the people who wrote these textbooks have my admiration, as much as anyone who spreads knowledge and popularizes science.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:45PM (#38783049) Journal

    ...are on the "non-believers".

    Religion is the most dangerous thing facing our population, not overpopulation. They all claim to be peaceful, but criticize them - and you'll see their true nature.

    • by Corbets (169101) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:52PM (#38783115) Homepage

      ...are on the "non-believers".

      Religion is the most dangerous thing facing our population, not overpopulation. They all claim to be peaceful, but criticize them - and you'll see their true nature.

      Do you realize that you're the first step on a dangerous road? Your generalizations will lead to believers being the next group hunted. I'm an atheist myself, but stating that religion is the most dangerous problem faced by society is both ridiculously naive and dangerous. There are believers who are a problem, but that does not mean that all religious types are nut cases.

      • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:01PM (#38783191) Journal

        Reverse psychology - you're right, it's equally dangerous to be pointing fingers at a minority, but religion is far from minority, in fact - it's directly responsible for wars all over the planet.

        I'm all okay with religion as long as people don't take it to extremes, but history has proven over and over again that if you chose belief over facts - aka religion vs science, then you're bound to lose, no matter what the outcome would be as long as the outcome is anything but peaceful.

        And history shows - people DO take things to an extreme. You don't see a bunch of scientist raging out on the streets over some cartoon-drawings, burning down embassies, cars and peoples homes?

  • by Galactic Dominator (944134) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:47PM (#38783063)

    Christopher Hitchens title for his polemic piece on religion hardly have been phrased even better, although I'll give it a shot here.

    God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything(Including Facebook).

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:47PM (#38783069) Journal

    when the religious people kill you because you say it.

  • by fsharp (617264) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:51PM (#38783097)
    All the guy did was tell the truth. One day maybe the world will get over believing in something created by folks attempting to explain the world around them. Doubtful in a few hundred lifetimes, but we can dream.
    • Perhaps way way way way way waaaaaay back in the day, it was created to explain something. Over the millennia it has been warped into a moral and ethical control system, by which the leaders of some cult-like secret societies can dictate what is right and wrong to the world.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:01PM (#38783209) Journal
    In the southern India in the state of Tamil Nadu atheistic parties gained lots of ground in the 1960s. ( Even now all the dominant parties there eulogize a noted atheist, but the parties themselves have become more tolerant towards theism). One of the fanatical members of this atheistic party named his son "God Does not Exist" (kadavul-illai in the local language). Name was found to be too long for the liking of his teachers and classmates. So they shortened it to "God" (kadavul). So, yes, I could have spoken to God, if I had gone to that school. God flunked eighth grade and dropped out of school, if I remember it right.
  • Religious Freedom (Score:5, Informative)

    by MarkvW (1037596) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:02PM (#38783217)

    For many people, religious freedom means the freedom to try to force your religion upon another person.

    • Nonsense. "Religious freedom," in today's parlance, doesn't mean freedom to try and force your religion upon another person; it means freedom from other religions which are persecuting your religion, so you can be free to persecute other's religions. It's the theological equivalent to a "cease fire," during which you rapidly reload and pick some new allies / various weaker enemies to annihilate during the down time. It is, from my standpoint, breathtakingly boring, but since every side "believes" it can win

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:08PM (#38783273)

    FTFA:

    Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, recognises the right to practice six religions in total: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism. Atheism is, however, illegal.

    I'd go with Confucianism. If nobody can understand what he said, nobody can understand if you are practicing it or not.

    If you live amongst a horde of unpredictable religious fanatics, it's best to keep your mouth shut.

    My God told me so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:22PM (#38783391)

    I will never comprehend the "if you don't believe, I'll beat the shit out of you" mentality.

  • by JavaBear (9872) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:27PM (#38783449)

    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    God is something that I despise
    For it means destruction of innocent lives
    For it means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes
    When their Gods go out to fight to take their lives

    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

    God
    It's nothing but a heartbreaker
    God
    Friend only to the undertaker
    God is the enemy of all mankind
    The thought of God blows my mind
    Handed down from generation to generation
    Induction destruction
    Who wants to die

    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

    God has shattered many young men's dreams
    Made them disabled bitter and mean
    Life is too precious to be fighting Gods each day
    God can't give life it can only take it away

    God
    It's nothing but a heartbreaker
    God
    Friend only to the undertaker
    Peace love and understanding
    There must be some place for these things today
    They say we must fight to keep our freedom
    But what?, there's gotta be a better way
    That's better than
    God

    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again
    God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:33PM (#38783519)
    but he sure has a shitty fan club
  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @04:19PM (#38783951)

    This man has not yet been touched by His Noodly Appendage [venganza.org]. Once he has, he will know The Truth.

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @04:46PM (#38784219) Homepage

    The conventional wisdom is that it's not possible to take down a major religion. The US, though, did it once - after WWII, the US Army took down State Shinto [wikipedia.org] in Japan.

    It's worth understanding how that was done. It took not only a military victory, but a determined large-scale occupation, with far more occupying troops than the US used in Iraq. It didn't prohibit worship. It pulled the plug on public funding of Shinto. It eliminated any political power wielded by religious figures. Separation of church and state was forcibly imposed on Japan. It worked.

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:22PM (#38784529)

    "God" exists,
    "God" is a concept oh so useful to the hierarchs.
    "God" is a pernicious lie told to the sheeple under the steeple, to keep the path to power steep, to make the disloyal (called the unfaithful) weep.
    "God" makes beautiful music. No arguing with that.
    "God" the great pacifier in the sky - "peace be upon him/her/it"

    "God", What a concept! - so much much bigger and badder than "Unicorns".

    Reality: defn 1: That which is still there after you stop believing in it. Why does "God" need belief so much? Because it's just an abstract frickin' IDEA. Without belief, or at least being thought about, or written down, or sung about, it doesn't exist. It is only the IDEA of "God" that has an effect on the world.

  • by okmijnuhb (575581) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:34PM (#38787429)
    Affirms my position that there is no God, and that followers of a myth are dangerous.
  • by epine (68316) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:03AM (#38788259)

    There are presently 69 comments that show as +5 under my preferences. (Long ago I think I disabled the funny bonus since some moderators have a tau on fart jokes suitable for dating planetary origins.)

    Not one of these premium insights mentions Christopher Hitchens, far and away the most outspoken critic of clerical terrorism, much of which originated in the Salmon Rushdie context, and since expanded.

    Slowly I've been recruited by ugly world events to Hitch's analysis of fatwa fascism.

    Hitch makes a point about Iran that their nuclear ambitions and their intransigence on democracy are inseparable: the nuclear card is a gambit to retain domestic political power.

    In the same way, if top leadership endorses fatwa decrees, the general population is going to feel far greater inclination to break down doors and lay on a can of whup-ass over dissenting opinion.

Help me, I'm a prisoner in a Fortune cookie file!

Working...