Yusman "Gus" Roy says he intends to continue conducting services in both Indonesian and Arabic after having been released from prison.
Roy was sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Kepanjen, East Java, court, because he advocated the use of Indonesian language, in addition to Arabic, during sholat, or prayers. The use of any language but Arabic is considered unlawful according to most Muslims although there has been some dispute over the matter in past times. islamlib
His use of Indonesian was brought to the attention of the authorities when the Malang branch of the Ulema Council, MUI, issued a fatwa against him. Malang Regent Sujud Pribadi and chief of the Malang Prosecutor's Office Ichdar Supi'i then moved to close down the Muslim boarding school which Roy headed, I'tikaf Ngaji Lelaku. gusdur.net
Yusman Roy, while preaching at the I'tikaf Ngaji Lelaku school in Malang.
Now that he has been released he says he will continue to use Indonesian when praying, or leading prayers.
He also plans to put out a book, titled rather pompously "Buku Putih Meluruskan Opini Multi Dimensi Fungsi Agama dan Bahasa dalam Ibadah", detailing his opinions on the use of languages in worship.
He says the book will also contain the circumstances of how he was arrrested and imprisoned in a Probolinggo jail for 18 months. Yusman says that he wasn't convicted of blasphemy, specifically, (law 156 A) but of spreading hatred in society (law 157). He distributed leaflets to people detailing his beliefs on the use of Indonesian in sholat services.
He advised that the government should give room for people to conduct worship according to their beliefs because Indonesia was a democratic nation.
April 4th 2007.
The Malang chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) says it will not revoke its edict banning dual-language Islamic prayers, despite a Supreme Court decision undercutting the edict. Chapter head Mahmud Zubaidi was speaking on the 2nd of April, according to the Jakarta Post, after Muhammad Yusman Roy, leader of Islamic boarding school Pondok I'tikaf Jama'ah Ngaji Lelaku in Malang, East Java, reported him and three other MUI leaders, as well as Malang Regent Sujud Pribadi, to the police over the fatwa.
Mahmud claimed innocence over the fatwa, saying the MUI simply issued it as a guideline for Muslims, what the public did with it was not the council's business.
A fatwa is like a guideline. Whether those who are guided are willing to abide by the fatwa, it depends entirely on them.
However, Yusman Roy said that the MUI should be held responsible for its edict, which he said resulted in his being sent to jail for leading dual-language prayers at his boarding school.
During a trial at the Malang District Court several years ago, Roy was found not guilty of blasphemy, but was convicted of "despoiling" or insulting Islam. That verdict was confirmed at the East Java High Court.
However in its review decision of 2006 the Supreme Court said Roy was guilty only of the lesser charge of violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code, for circulating leaflets which sparked hatred between groups in society.
After the MUI refused to revoke the fatwa, and the Malang regent did not allow the reopening of Roy's boarding school, which gave Indonesian translations to Arabic verses in prayers, Roy filed a police complaint against the five figures. Roy said he began providing Indonesian translations of prayers so worshippers unable to speak Arabic understood what they were saying.
It is rumored that the Malang regent was pressured by the MUI and the Religious Affairs Ministry not to allow the reopening of Roy's boarding school, allegedly fearing public unrest if the school opened its doors.
Sri Hariyanto, an assistant to the Malang regent, said his office had not received a copy of the Supreme Court's decision.
We cannot take any action (on this matter) because we have not received a copy of the decision.
Sri said that if the Supreme Court ruled Roy was not guilty of blasphemy, the Malang regency administration would have to allow the reopening of his boarding school.
The issue of dual-language prayers will later be taken up at a meeting involving representatives of the MUI, community leaders and the local administration, he said.
What we banned was the use of Roy's school as a place for proselytizing, not the teaching itself.
Meanwhile the East Java branch of the Muslim Defence Team, Tim Pembela Muslim (TPM), a group of Islamic lawyers, have demanded that the police cease processing the MUI case. Their leader Fahmi H Bachmid said the case against the MUI was part of a general trend towards insulting Islam and Muslims and had to be stopped. antara