Ex-president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid has been reported to the police for insulting Islam.
Gus Dur had previously stated that the Muslim holy book, the Quran, contained "pornographic" content, in that it dealt frankly with some sexual issues. Now, yesterday, as part of an ongoing feud (see Inter Religious Harmony and FPI, Garda Bangsa, & Gus Dur), conservative and hardline Muslim clerics reported the matter to the police, as they are entitled to under Indonesian blasphemy laws.
In Jakarta dozens of clerics from across Java came to the central Jakarta police station (Mabes Polri) to seek justice against Wahid. The Muslim holy men who made the complaint were grouped under the umbrella organisation "Forum Umat Islam", the Islamic Community Forum, which consists largely of members of well-known radical associations such as the Mujahidin Council (MMI), Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR), Hizbut Tahrir (HTI), and Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
Gus Dur's statements regarding the raunchy nature of parts of the Quran were made in an article published on the Jaringan Islam Liberal, Liberal Islam Network website which discussed the debate concerning the RUU Anti Pornografi dan Pornoaksi, the anti-pornography and indecency bill. Two other men from the JIL, Guntur Romli and Arief Nurlambang, were also reported.
One of the men who made the complaint, one Ahmad Chamid Baidlowi, the head of the Al Wadah Islamic boarding school in, Rembang, Central Java, said:
What Gus Dur said that time is wrong and it has disturbed Muslims.
(Pernyataan Gus Dur itu salah dan meresahkan umat.)
We hope that this case will be processed according to the law. Whether it's right or wrong is up to the police and the courts.
(Kami mengharapkan agar kasus ini diproses secara hukum. Masalah benar atau tidak itu urusan polisi dan pengadilan nanti.)
Baidlowi went on to say that Gus Dur had hurt the feelings of good Muslims many times previously, and cited his membership of the Shimon Perez foundation as proof of this, considering that Perez was a Jew.
The maximum penalty for blasphemy in Indonesia is five years imprisonment.