Indonesian sect leader jailed for 'blasphemy'

An Indonesian court on Wednesday sentenced a sect leader to four years in prison for "blasphemy".

Indonesian sect leader jailed for 'blasphemy'

An Indonesian court on Wednesday sentenced a sect leader to four years in prison for "blasphemy".

Abdul Salam, who founded the sect al-Qiyadah al-Islamiah in 2000, was arrested last year after the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country's authority on Islam, declared the group heretical.

Salam has declared himself a "prophet" and has not required his followers to pray, fast during the month of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, or perform the Haj pilgrimage, three of the five pillars of Islam, the prosecutor said.

The chief judge trying the case at the South Jakarta district court said Salam, also known as Ahmad Mosaddeq, was guilty of "deliberately committing acts which are blasphemous to the religion".

"Throughout the trial the defendant did not admit even once that what he did was wrong," he said.

Salam smiled after the verdict was read out, while Muslims fiercely protested hem as saying "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great).

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation and groups branded as deviant or heretical periodically spring up.

In a separate development, a government team is drafting a decree that will ban Ahmadiyya, an Islamic sect founded in the 19th century in India, branded heretical by Muslims.

A team with officials from two government ministries and the attorney-general's office has recommended the government ban the sect because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam.

Around 85 percent of Indonesia's 226 million people are Muslims.

Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2008, 14:49
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