Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Obama lauds Indonesia as a model of religious tolerance

(CNN Belief Blog) Indonesia and the United States share principles of unity and tolerance and both can benefit from strengthened ties that will bolster trade and combat terrorism, President Obama said in a highly anticipated speech Wednesday.

As the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia was chosen as the site for Obama to further address U.S. relations with the Islamic world following his speech on the topic last year in Cairo, Egypt.

I said then, and I will repeat now, that no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust," Obama said. At the same time, he promised that "no matter what setbacks may come, the United States is committed to human progress."

America "is not, and never will be, at war with Islam," Obama insisted. "Instead, all of us must defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion - certainly not a great world religion like Islam."

(CNN link)

A Closer Look
President Obama holds Indonesia as an example of religious tolerance, but neglected to tell you is that  Indonesia has a blasphemy law.
"Indonesia's Criminal Code forbids anyone from deliberately, in public, expressing feelings of hostility, hatred, or contempt against religions with the purpose of preventing others from adhering to any religion, and forbids anyone from disgracing a religion. The penalty for violating Article 156(a) is a maximum of five years imprisonment.The Muslim majority uses the Criminal Code, presidential decrees, and ministerial directives to persecute religious minorities and unorthodox sects. The persecution in Indonesia makes it a place of much discrimination, harassment, and violence." [1]