Indonesia’s FPI Reports Gramedia to Police Over Book ‘Defaming’ Islam

By webadmin on 06:27 pm Jun 11, 2012
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Bayu Marhaenjati

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) reported publisher Gramedia Pustaka Utama to the Jakarta Police on Monday for publishing a book that called the Prophet Muhammad a pirate and a murderer, the hard-line organization’s spokesman said.

A book titled “Lima Kota Paling Berpengaruh di Dunia” (“Five Cities that Ruled the World”) contains libelous language about Islam, FPI spokesman Munarman said. The book, written by American theologian Douglas Wilson, explores how five cities — New York, Jerusalem, Athens, Rome and London — shaped the world.

“Page 24 of the book contains words that are an insult to Rasulullah
[the prophet]. It says that Muhammad was a robber and a pirate and that
he attacked merchants and caravans and reportedly committed murders,”
Munarman said.

In Indonesia, it is against the law to publish materials that are considered libelous toward a certain religion, ethnicity or nationality. Offenders face up to five years in prison and Rp 4,500 ($0.47) in fines under Article 156 of the Criminal Code.

The FPI has reported Gramedia’s managing director Wandi S. Brata, book editor
P. Herdian and translator Hendri Tanajah to the police. The hard-line Islamist organization has demanded legal action against the Gramedia executives.

“This
is an assault,” Munarman said. “Rasulullah is a symbol in Islamic teachings, and defaming religions is a crime according to the Criminal Code. We’ve filed a report on this case so that it can be
settled legally.”

The publishing house previously published an apology in the Indonesian newspaper Republika, saying that it recalled all copies of the book on June 9. The FPI claimed the book was still available at some bookstores on June 10.

Pulling the book from Indonesia’s shelves isn’t enough, Munarman said.

“This is a
crime of formal offense; withdrawing the books is not enough. In the case of corruption, is only apologizing enough? Surely not,” he
said.

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