Blasphemy For Some

Aug 21st, 2006, in News, by

While the law against blasphemy is intended to protect all the main religions of Indonesia it is selectively enforced.

The Jakarta Post on the 19th published an opinion piece entitled “The gospel of Judas: Heresy or revelation?” in which Liem Khiem Yang tells us about the discovery of the gnostic gospel of Judas, which was condemned by bishop Irenaeus in 180 AD as heresy. In it we find that:

Judas is not the betrayer of Jesus, but Jesus’ most faithful disciple. Judas only did what Jesus himself asked him to do, i.e. to hand him over to the executioners. As Bart D. Enrman states, the key phrase in the entire Gospel of Judas is Jesus’ saying to Judas: “But you will exceed all of them, for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me”.

Jesus’ life on earth is only in the guise of a man. The man provides clothes for the spirit within. It is the body of Jesus that will be sacrificed, but not the soul of Jesus, not God himself. This is genuine gnostic thinking altogether.

Interesting stuff but, in short, a form of blasphemy against the beliefs of about ten percent of Indonesians, according to the law.

Meanwhile in Tasikmalaya prison, Abraham Bentar, serving four and a half years for blasphemy against Islam, is not permitted to utter the name “Jesus Christ” while conducting services in the prison with four other Christian inmates, instead he tells

I have to say “God” instead.

Abraham was convicted, specifically, for saying that Muhammad was not a prophet of God, something which all Christians take for granted – many other core beliefs of Christianity directly contradict those of Islam, and vice versa. It appears that the utterance of them by only one group attracts the interest of the law.

22 Comments on “Blasphemy For Some”

  1. Fanglong says:

    We should know the meaning of symbols & transcend our complexes.
    Symbolic thought and practical thought might be in contradiction : the teachers should clarify things, not put them in constant opposition. For what reason ? In whose interests ?

  2. Aloo says:

    Get real. Read the Davinci code, if you can’t read the historical origins of Christianity in the times of emperor Constantine. The first 300 years of Christianity accepted Jesus (on whom be peace) as a human being.

  3. Hassan says:

    the davinci code is a novel, you should use a more solid base of argument then that aloo. but yes, i did some research on the nicene council and it was the base of the current Christian doctrine and believe system.

  4. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Aloo and Hassan,

    We could say the same for Islam, the purity of the faith brought by the Prohet Mohammed, was uncorrupted until 250 years after he died when the first collections of Hadith were compiled.

    Unfortunately that doesn’t relate to the issue here, which is the selective use of the blasphemy law. The law should be applied fairly to all religions, “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabaeans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.” Al Quran 2:62

    If Allah can accept the Jews, the Christians and others, then why cannot the law of Indonesia? Or do the lawmakers of our county consider themselves a higher authority than Allah Himself?

  5. Hassan says:

    well Mohamed khafi, it’s also our obligation to remind those who had went astray, Allah had also sent a stern warning to those people who believed that He is ‘one of the three’. while tolerance is a good thing, we must also continue in the path of amar ma’ruf nahyi munkar.

    the point is, as long as we do it without violence (as aloo and me had been doing) then there’s nothing wrong with that. tolerance does not negate our obligation to upheld the truth and remind others of their wrong doings (da’wah).

    I believe that the world tolerance had been misunderstood to a certain degree as to justify passive behaviour. tolerance does not mean that we must let people do whatever they want, even if it is wrong.

  6. Molisan Tono says:

    DAVINCI CODE is big jokes and hoax. i feel sad tho those who believe it.

  7. Andrew says:

    “…it’s also our obligation to remind those who had went astray…”

    Can you define “astray”, wiseman?

    Anyway, your thinking has no bearing on my belief and faith. It’s a free world, so dream on.

  8. Hassan says:

    paul, I was talking to Mohammed Khafi, who’s supposed to be my fellow Muslim. and not to you, so it doesn’t really matter whether it has any “bearing on your belief and faith” or not. mind your own busines, wiseman..!

  9. Josef says:

    Again, why do Muslims need special laws to make sure people are being good Muslims? Are they that insecure in their faith in Islam that anything or anyone that could even bring upon slightest influence take down the whole religion? Why are Muslims so scared of blasphemy? If they were really strong in their faith than blasphemy should not bother them, for they know the truth….and more importantly, one man’s truth is another man’s blasphemy, so who are you or any person to judge that. That is between the person and God.

  10. Bradlymail says:

    thanks again Josef ! I agree with you !!

  11. Hassan says:

    errr, because Muslims doesn’t want Islam to end up like Christianity with its miriad of small sects and schisms? there is only one true God after all, so there must only one true form of Islam.

  12. Josef says:

    And why is your form the correct one? Why not some ayatollah or even my own. Maybe god speaks to me in my heart and tells me what is right and wrong, I believe god does, and so… ya, I’m an apostate, but again that is between me and god.
    When it comes to my beliefs I answer only to god, not to religious police. The government has no business regulating peoples’ souls and their relationship with god. If someone does not believe something, but only prays or fasts or whatever because they are afraid of being punished that is not true faith in God anyway. God knows what is in your
    heart, so forcing people to act a certain way is irrelevant. In fact it is blasphemy, because there should be no coercion in religion.

    The real point of the matter is that enforcing religious law is a way for clerics to have more power. That is what they really want, because most of them are hypocrites anyway. I think that what you do when you start imposing shiara law is make the country a dictatorship of self-rightous muftis and mujtahids. All of whom think they know God
    better than you or me and feel they have the right to tell everyone what to do…….or else.

    First they may come for the apostates, then for the agnostics, then the Hindus, then the Christians, then maybe the sufis…….maybe one day for you, when some guy with a long white beard who is a big shot mujtahid decides you are guilty of some stupid little heresy.

    History, in all religions, has taught us that the road of theocracy only ever leads to oppression, death, and evil.

  13. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Asalamu Alaikum Hassan,

    Islam is already divide into sects; shia, sunni, ahmadiya, alahmiya, submitters, nation of Islam, are just some of them. The facts are that Islam is in just as bad a state as Jewry or Christianity, All three follow manmade teachings instead of the word of God. Unfortunately there are some who call themselves religious who feel justified in their interpretations of these corrupted teachings that they feel it is ok to kill, maim, control, and terrorise in the name of God.

    My dream is that all the Abrahamic religions return to what was given to them by God, then instead of arguing and fighting amongst themselves, they could use their energy to fight for the poor and oppressed against the rich and powerful, teach the uneducated, create work for the millions of unemployed around the world, and create a free, democratic, intelligent and dynamic society.


  14. Fanglong says:

    Yes, Mohammed Kh.,
    I believe in good will against blinded power.
    Without all that good will, things would be incredibly worse.
    We should believe in man, because he’s in charge, with his body, speech and mind, in charge of God’s world.
    Wa-‘alaykumu-s-salaam !

  15. Ismail says:

    Mohammed Khafi, your reasoning is sound and human but its not because you are a Muslim, without the traditions(sira bin ishaq, al-tabari, hadit bukhari and Muslimi) the Quran doesn’t make much sense, therefore the religion does not make sense therefore Muslims have to protect it by killing and setting up laws because on its own it will die.

  16. Hassan says:

    oh no it won’t.

  17. Mohammed Khafi says:


    I agree with Hassan on this, but for different reasons probably! I believe that Islam will grow stronger without all of the corrupted teachings and traditions, because in it’s simplest form I believe it is a religion of great simplicity, based on forgiveness, tolerance and equality. For me the essence of Islam is believing in God, believing in a day of judgement and doing good deeds, no more no less.

  18. Ismail says:

    Khafi Hi, I need you to think with me for a moment, and let be truthful, the al-Quran alone does not make sense, the only rational way to come to some understanding of it, is through the hadit and the other traditions, i do agree with you that this traditions are inconsistent, but that is the point, without them the Quran becomes more incoherent.

    make sense of the story of Zaid and zainab,
    Qur’an 33:37 “You hid in your mind and your heart that which Allah was about to manifest: you feared the people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zayd had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We gave her to you, joining her in marriage to you: in order that there may be no difficulty or sin for the Believers in the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And Allah’s command must be fulfilled.”

    you said,”For me the essence of Islam is believing in God, believing in a day of judgement and doing good deeds, no more no less.” that funning because almost all indigenius people believe this before Islam, that means its not unique to Islam.

    I also believe that Islam traditions were alive before the advent of Islam and even its god Allah was one of the gods in the kaa’ba, that is why mohammed’s fathers name is abdAllah, this is what the sudanise editor wrote, for this he was beheaded, yet its true.

    please read the Quran, not recitation, not someone perception. just your own conclusions. finanlly the Quran in sura 4-89 advocate death(to be killed by other Muslims) to anyone who you leaves Islam, now that sound like a cult to me. that too as been around before Islam. please if you says my conclusions a wrong please write back with proof.

  19. Mohammed Khafi says:


    I don’t see any problem with the quoted verse, it is just Allah’s way of saying that there is no sin on any man if he marries the divorced wife of his adopted son.

    Your reference to the beliefs of indigenous peoples I think is somewhat simplified as they invariably believed in different gods from each other and sometimes many different gods, many of them fighting and killing each other to prove that their god was the best.

    The difference in Islam is the belief in One God, there should be no arguments over who’s god is the greatest or most powerful. Allah, Yahweh, Yehova, God, whatever name you want to give, they are all the same God.

    Islam is just the Arabic for Submission to God, unfortunately it has become a label which lots of people have taken exception to as they have connected it with the current practice of the Muslim Ummah. It actually applies to ALL who believe in God, believe in the day of Judgement and do good deeds.

    Islam’s traditions have been around at least since the time of Abraham as we are told in Al Quran that it is Abraham’s religion which we should follow:

    “And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector – the Best to protect and the Best to help!” 22:78


  20. Mohammed Khafi says:


    Regrarding your last point, that verse 4-89 advocates death to apostates:

    “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks. Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (Of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them). Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto; if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them; in their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them. (Al-Nisa’ 4:89-91)

    Now tell me honestly, do these verses give a free permission to kill anyone anywhere? These verses were revealed by Allah to Prophet Mohammed at the time when Muslims were attacked by the non-Muslims of Makkah on a regular basis. They were frightening the Muslim community of Madinah. You could say there were constant terrorist attacks on Madinah and in this situation Muslims were given permission to fight back These verses are not a permission for violence but they are a warning against the “terrorists.” But even in these warnings you can see how much restraint and care is emphasized.


  21. Ismail says:

    hello Khafi,

    the only way you can know what time this happened is by using the sunna and the hadit, that means your relying on the Quran alone is unrealistic. but you think about it we are talking about the so called religion of peace, I am sure that praying for an apostate is a better way to go, at least by the setiment of the god of the Christians. this god of Islam is suppose to be merciful.

    let me say this, look arround you sharia is built on this in all Islamic countries, so many Muslims are talking it lterally. that take us to another issue maybe you want to come out with a book that all the terrorist can read(hardly possible ’cause they filled with hate) which will explain your point of view because believe me its unpopular.

    I believe the no where in the Quran when Allah say he loves people of oposing views, everytime you see the word unbeliever you will see hate, death, anger, mutilation, distruction, its simpling sad that this god can’t love at all except perhap the individual is a Muslim.

  22. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Saidina Ali k.w. pointed out that:

    “Al-Qur’an presents to you in the way that you approach it.”

    If you approaches the Qur’an with evil and ugly intentions, closed paradigms and limited understanding, you will understand the Qur’an with this limited, ugly understanding. If you approach the Qur’an with love and mercy, the Qur’an will build upon them castles of mercy and compassion.

    –Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, Interview with the Editors of “Inabah” magazine, p. 5

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