Woman Complains About The Volume of the Muslim Call to Prayer

Published April 10th, 2019 - 01:00 GMT

An Indonesian woman has lost her appeal against a blasphemy conviction related to a complaint she made about the volume of the Muslim call to prayer, media have reported this week.

Indonesia's Supreme Court posted the verdict on its website on Monday, confirming that the 18-month sentence handed to Meiliana, a Chinese-Indonesian from North Sumatra, had been upheld by the court's panel of justices.

The case has highlighted how Indonesia's blasphemy law has become a tool for religious hard-liners to persecute followers of minority faiths.

Meliana's ordeal began in July 2016 when she asked if the volume of the loudspeakers at her neighborhood mosque could be lowered.


Rumours spread in the city of Tanjung Balai that she wanted to stop the five-times-a-day call to prayer.

Days later, mobs attacked her home and burned and ransacked at least 14 Buddhist temples.

Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation, has criticised the conviction and said the complaint wasn't blasphemous.

At least 147 people have been imprisoned under blasphemy or related laws since 2004, according to Human Rights Watch.

The number of cases has slowed since 2014 under President Joko Widodo's administration.


This article has been adapted from its original source.     

Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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