Catholic students have reported Muslim cleric Habib Rizieq Syihab for allegedly mocking the birth of Christ. (Photo by Ryan Dagur)
Almost 150 lawyers have lent their support to a blasphemy case brought by the Indonesian Catholic Student's Association against a prominent Muslim hardliner.
The case comes amid another blasphemy controversy involving Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok. He is standing trial for allegedly insulting the QuranAngelo Wake Kako, chairman of the association, told ucanews.com on Jan 3 that the lawyers were not only Catholics but came from other religions as well. "They offered to help us in facing this case," Kako said.
Franciscan Father Peter C. Aman, lecturer of theology at the Jakarta-based Driyarkara Institute of Philosophy, agrees with the students about the merits of the blasphemy case.Coming at a time when Christians were celebrating the birth of Christ, Syihab's comments were deliberately insulting and aimed to harass Christians, Fr. Aman said. "There is intent to offend the doctrine of the incarnation and the intent to provoke laughter, " he said.He added that even if the statement was delivered in the context of Islamic teaching about Jesus Christ, it shouldn't lead to laughter."Is their view, Jesus can be reduced to a laughing stock?," he said.
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