TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Setara Institute recorded 97 blasphemy cases in Indonesia throughout 1965-2017, including the latest case that involved former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok. Surprisingly, most of these cases occurred in the post-reformation era.
“Interestingly, the blasphemy cases increase during the information age,” said Setara Institute researcher Halili on Thursday, May 11.
Halili further explained that nine cases happened before Indonesia’s reformation, while 88 cases took place after it. Most of the post-reformation blasphemy cases involve religious understanding conflicts, the problem of free speech and expression, and newly formed religious movements.
In a separate occasion, Setara Research Director Ismail Hasani argues that the increase of blasphemy case is influenced by political factor that takes advantage of a more nonchalant political climate. This causes certain groups to take advantage of the law for their own personal political gain.
Ismail added that blasphemy cases are on the rise because religion is the easiest element to be taken advantage of, especially in establishing a new political power.
Cases that are related to religious beliefs are considered to be more attractive to the public compared to other conventional things.
“Cases related to religion are then used to influence the public and to reach a capital gain,” Ismail explained.