Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Clerics seek blasphemy charge against Indonesian newspaper
Jakarta Post apologizes for cartoon; Islamic group says apology not enough
- Katharina R. Lestari and Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- July 16, 2014
An Indonesian Muslim group filed a complaint yesterday against an English-language newspaper which it has accused of blasphemy for an editorial cartoon in its July 3 print edition.
The Jakarta Post cartoon criticized the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has reportedly committed executions and other acts of violence in Iraq. The cartoon's phrase "La ilaha illallaah" (there is no God but God) was presented on a flag with a skull, which is typically identified with pirates.
"The caricature has an impression … as if Islam is a cruel religion, which likes to shed blood just like the pirates," Edy Mulyadi of the Jakarta Preachers' Corps told ucanews.com on Wednesday.
"The caricature is published in the opinion column. Just like an editorial, it represents the editor's official stance. The Jakarta Post arrogantly declares hostility and blasphemy against Islam, which is adhered to by the majority in Indonesia," he said.
The corps accused the newspaper of violating Indonesia's criminal code on blasphemy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Mulyadi met with newspaper's editor on July 8 and was offered an apology.
"For such a cruel blasphemy against Islam, an apology isn't enough. Perpetrators must be given a strong and strict sanction. That's why we filed a police report," he said.
The Jakarta Post also published an official apology in its July 8 edition, saying the "cartoon contained religious symbolism that may have been offensive to some".
"The Post regrets the error in judgment, which was in no way meant to malign or be disrespectful to any religion," the apology read.
Yosep Stanley Adhi Prasetyo of the Press Council said that while the preachers' corps has the right to file a complaint, charging The Jakarta Post with a crime would violate "principals of press freedom".
He said the only problem with the cartoon was that it didn't clearly explain that it was a critique of the ISIL.
"Our grassroots couldn't understand the caricature and had different interpretation," he said.
But Mulyadi said Stanley's explanation was not an adequate defense.
"Stanley isn't a Muslim. How could he say that Muslims in Indonesia didn't understand the meaning of the caricature? If he was a Muslim, he definitely knew that 'La ilaha illallaah' are words that must be highly upheld," he said.
Meanwhile, National Police Inspector-General Ronny F. Sompie said that police will coordinate its investigation with the Press Council.
"It's too early to say that the case is blasphemy. It tends to be a violation against the law on press," he said.