1. SubscriberFMF
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    19 Jan '12 12:26
    ‘God Does Not Exist’ Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man

    An Indonesian civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page has been taken into police custody for his own protection after he was badly beaten.

    The man, identified as Alexander, 31, now faces the prospect of losing his job, or even being jailed, if he fails to repent and accept one of six official state religions.

    Blasphemy carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

    Local media reported that when Alexander arrived at work at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board (Bappeda) on Wednesday, a group of men, also understood to comprise government officials, attacked and beat him before police arrived and took him into protective custody.

    Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz told the Jakarta Globe that Alexander moderated a Facebook account titled “Ateis Minang” (Minang Atheists) and had written an update that “God does not exist.”

    Chairul said he could not confirm the reports that Alexander was attacked but say that he had taken into protective custody to “anticipate anarchy.”

    “Besides, he is also afraid of being intimidated or hurt.”

    Alexander was quoted by Padangekspres.co.id as saying that he did not believe in God because of the amount of crime and disasters.

    “If God indeed exists, why do bad things happen,” he was quoted as saying. “There should only be good things if God is merciful.”

    Alexander said he was born a Muslim but ceased religious activities in 2008.

    “I have no idea what the problem is. When I arrived at the office, a mob came and beat me, and took me to the police.”

    Aziz said police would wait for a recommendation from the West Sumatra Coordinating Agency to Supervise Religion and Beliefs (Bakorpakem) as well as the Ministry of Religious Affairs before deciding on further action against Alexander.

    “If they consider what he did was blasphemy, we will charge him.”

    Gusrizal Gazahar, head of the West Sumatera chapter of the Council of Ulema (MUI), told local media that if he refused to repent, Alexander should lose his job.

    “I want him to be fired,” he said.

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/god-does-not-exist-comment-ends-badly-for-indonesia-man/492370
  2. Joined
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    19 Jan '12 12:33
    Originally posted by FMF
    ‘God Does Not Exist’ Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man

    An Indonesian civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page has been taken into police custody for his own protection after he was badly beaten.

    The man, identified as Alexander, 31, now faces the prospect of losing his job, or even being jailed, if he fails to repent and accept ...[text shortened]... tp://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/god-does-not-exist-comment-ends-badly-for-indonesia-man/492370
    I would say that "Freedom of Thinking aload" doesn't exist in Indonesia. Will I be prosecuted now?

    Orwell was true...
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    19 Jan '12 12:33
    What are the forum's thoughts on Alexander?
  4. SubscriberFMF
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    19 Jan '12 12:34
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I would say that "Freedom of Thinking aload" doesn't exist in Indonesia. Will I be prosecuted now?
    Prosecuted by who?
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    19 Jan '12 12:37
    No Need to Believe: Indonesia's Atheists

    At first glance, Karl Karnadi may look like any other 20-something trying to find his place in the world. It doesn’t take long, however, to realize there is something positively different about him.

    Consciously argumentative, eagerly opinionated and thoroughly knowledgeable, Karl stands for something many Indonesians still find utterly unfathomable: He is an outspoken atheist, and the founder of the rapidly growing Indonesian Atheists community.

    Karl, 29, does not keep his beliefs private, something many other Indonesian atheists have chosen to do in the face of frequent hostility. He makes no bones about his rejection of what he refers to as supernaturally infused beliefs, and he is passionate about fostering a fundamental change in Indonesia while remaining realistic about the challenges.

    Furthermore, Karl promotes tolerance, and is far less hostile toward religion than some of the world’s most recognized scholars of nonbelief such as Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett and Richard Dawkins.

    Established in 2008, Karl’s IA has 677 active members on its Facebook page who discuss the profusion of religiously related topics around the country.

    The IA community has also taken part in a variety of scientific and philosophical seminars and gatherings, and has expanded its ties with similar groups outside Indonesia.

    “We’ve built a network with other nonbelievers and humanist organizations in Southeast Asia,” Karl says.

    With other atheist associations in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, IA has established a joint Web site called Southeast Asian Atheists, or sea-atheists.org, which hopes to broaden the discussion among atheists from different backgrounds.

    “Starting last year, we have also affiliated ourselves with a global network called Atheist Alliance International, through which we build close contacts with similar communities around the world,” Karl said. “From Pakistan, Brazil, Ireland and Afghanistan, there are atheists and agnostics everywhere.”

    Karl’s road toward becoming one of the country’s most outspoken atheists was both unique and lengthy. Born in a country where faith takes a strong hold beginning at birth, he grew up religiously in a Christian home.

    By his own account, Karl, who now lives in Germany, was brought up in a very religious setting. “My childhood was filled with church activities,” Karl said.

    He was even a church pianist up until only two years ago. “I knew nothing about science, about skepticism,” he said. “I wasn’t a rebellious kid compared to others the same age. I accepted all religious teachings and never questioned it in the slightest.”

    But his family was also very religiously tolerant. He would often pay visits to acquaintances from other faiths during religious holidays, instilling a sense of open-mindedness, something that would eventually help to shape his atheism.

    “I went over to our Muslim neighbors every Idul Fitri to congratulate them. Eventually, every Christmas, our Muslim neighbors would also do the same,” he said. “This very valuable experience has stayed with me, and taught me that religious tolerance is not only possible, but also worth fighting for.”

    Karl’s acceptance of his religious upbringing, however, would undergo a crucial change after a move to Germany, where he went to study in his early 20s.

    He noticed a change in how many of his Indonesian peers began addressing themselves. Instead of identifying themselves according to a specific Indonesian ethnicity (such as Javanese or Balinese), they referred to themselves as strictly Indonesian. All the different levels of wealth, culture and regional identity that seemed so important back home were suddenly irrelevant.

    Continued here: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/editorschoice/no-need-to-believe-indonesias-atheists/492147
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    19 Jan '12 12:38
    Originally posted by FMF
    ‘God Does Not Exist’ Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man

    ... if he fails to repent and accept one of six official state religions.

    Blasphemy carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
    Its funny how religions stick together even though their beliefs are contradictory. A Christian would rather another person be Muslim than atheist and vice versa.
    It is OK for another religious person to tell you he doesn't believe in your God, after all, he is just as deluded as you are, so you cant really complain. But if someone says "I don't believe in any God" then that is blasphemy, and must be punished. He's a threat to the whole concept of religion.
  7. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Jan '12 12:43
    Originally posted by FMF
    What are the forum's thoughts on Alexander?
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
    (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)


    Same old story. Paul was persecuted for proclaiming the good news about Christ.
    People will always be persecuted for their beliefs.
  8. Cape Town
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    19 Jan '12 13:271 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
    (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)


    Same old story. Paul was persecuted for proclaiming the good news about Christ.
    People will always be persecuted for their beliefs.
    Or their lack of beliefs - as this thread points out.

    In this case its someone being persecuted because other people have beliefs they feel they need to protect.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say Paul was probably also persecuted, not for what he believed, but because he posed a threat to what his persecutors believed - or wanted people to believe.
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    19 Jan '12 13:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    What are the forum's thoughts on Alexander?
    What can you say? It appears the authorities are more interested in investigating and punishing one man's honestly held view than the accusation of physical assault.

    However, Article 28E of the Indonesian Constitution, in the section on Fundamental Human Rights, states:

    2.Each person has the right to be free in his convictions, to assert his thoughts and tenets, in accordance with his conscience.

    3.Each person has the right to freely associate, assemble, and express his opinions.

    Of course, I have no idea how the Indonesian law would relate this to the charge of blasphemy and how much this is influenced by prevailing religious beliefs.

    But by the same token there are likely to be those that would not want a legal challenge which might confirm that simply expressing a disbelief in God is not blasphemy and that, in any case, it violates a person's human rights to prevent them from expressing it. In which case, you may find the blasphemy charge comes to nothing.

    But I am amazed that they can force someone to accept a religion, which seems totally inconsistent with Fundamental Human Rights. Is this accurate?
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    19 Jan '12 14:40
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    What can you say? It appears the authorities are more interested in investigating and punishing one man's honestly held view than the accusation of physical assault.

    However, Article 28E of the Indonesian Constitution, in the section on Fundamental Human Rights, states:

    2.Each person has the right to be free in his convictions, to assert his tho ...[text shortened]... a religion, which seems totally inconsistent with Fundamental Human Rights. Is this accurate?
    why should you be amazed? there are human rights violations every day, every second on this planet.

    (Matthew 6:34) . . .. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.
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    19 Jan '12 15:371 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    why should you be amazed? there are human rights violations every day, every second on this planet.

    (Matthew 6:34) . . .. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.
    Agreed, I should not be amazed. And the quote from Matthew undeniable,

    I just wonder if anyone can reference the law that decrees this? The convention on Human Rights looks fairly standard in most parts, and looks incompatible with this. I am probably missing something.
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Jan '12 16:25
    Originally posted by FMF
    What are the forum's thoughts on Alexander?
    He should come to the USA.
  13. SubscriberFMF
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    19 Jan '12 16:30
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    He should come to the USA.
    Would what has happened to him qualify him for political asylum do you think?
  14. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Jan '12 16:36
    Originally posted by FMF
    Would what has happened to him qualify him for political asylum do you think?
    I have no idea.
  15. Standard memberRajk999
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    19 Jan '12 17:07
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Or their lack of beliefs - as this thread points out.

    In this case its someone being persecuted because other people have beliefs they feel they need to protect.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say Paul was probably also persecuted, not for what he believed, but because he posed a threat to what his persecutors believed - or wanted people to believe.
    The way I see it any opinion like "God does not exist", is a belief.
    The man believes that God does not exist.
    I believe that God does exist.
    All beliefs.
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