Indonesia sentences TikTok to prison for blasphemy for eating meat skin
- The 32-year-old travel influencer, who is a Muslim, says it wasn’t his first taste, he first tried it in Sri Lanka at the age of 24.
- He apologized to the public but was charged with two articles, including blasphemy and spreading hateful content, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
An influential Indonesian woman has been named an accused in a blasphemy case after she posted a video of her eating meat on TikTok, after which she uttered an Arabic phrase meaning ‘in the name of Allah’.
On March 9, Lena Lutyuti, who is not of Indian origin but passionate about everything Bollywood, posted a video of her trying her first meat skin while traveling in the Hindu-dominated island of Bali.
Popularly known as ‘Leena Mukherjee’ on social media, Lena has a total of more than 4.2 million followers on Instagram and TikTok. The meat-eating video has been viewed 13.4 million times so far.
”Bismillah (in the name of Allah), today I think I will be thrown out of my family card because I am curious about the taste of the skin, so today I am violating the rakon iman (the six basic tenets of Islam),” the 32-year-old travel influencer said.
”But this time I am aware myself,” he said. After eating it, he laughed and said that the skin of k meat tastes like “dry beef” and “it’s not as good as everyone says, it’s okay”. At the end of the video, he apologized to his family, saying that “it is only for content”.
However, on March 15, a Muslim cleric in palembang city in southern Sumatra province was thrown into hot water after he complained of blasphemy to police. The local branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council has also issued a fatwa declaring his video blasphemous.
She gives an example of eating and practicing something that is forbidden, i.e., meat. Don’t let this process become a habit, because our children will watch the material,” Serif Hidayat told reporters on March 17.
On Thursday, Lena was named as a suspect by South Sumatra police, but was not detained because she was suffering from severe gastritis, police said.
I apologize to the people of Indonesia because as a public figure I have made a mistake. In future, I will use my social media to publish better and useful [content],” Leena told reporters on Thursday.
Although he has apologized to the public, police say his case will still be processed and he has been charged with two articles, including blasphemy and spreading hate content, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
A research note released in August last year has long criticised Indonesia’s notorious blasphemy law as draconian, and Human Rights Watch calls it a threat of abuse because it enables the protection of religion to be used as a political tool.
Instead of repealing the law, Jakarta last year increased the blasphemy chapter from one to six sections in the country’s new penal code, including a new article that prohibits the exclusion of religion as apostasy.