Protestors contest judicial review of religious blasphemy law

Hundreds of people rallied in front of the Constitutional Court (MK) building in Central Jakarta on Wednesday to urge the rejection of the ongoing judicial review of the religious blasphemy law.

“The articles of the 1965 Blasphemy Law are not about freedom of religion, but to protect our religions from being insulted,” said Mastuni, a preacher leading a group called Islam Defender Troops (LPI).

He was accompanied by members of the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), Islamic Reform Movement (Garis), and several other civil organizations.

Mastuni said that instead of eliminating the law, the government should reinforce it with firmer sanctions against violators, said Mastuni.

“This case is more serious than the Bank Century case,” said the preacher. “If MK repeals the article, we will declare war.”

On Jan. 30, 2010, a group of NGOs filed a judicial review request at the Constitutional Court, asking the judges to review articles of the 1965 Blasphemy Law, which they deemed to be discriminating against certain religious groups. (not)