A social media influencer from Indonesia has been sentenced to two years in prison for reciting a Muslim prayer before eating pork in a viral video.
Lina Lutfiawati was found guilty of “disseminating information that could foment hatred among individuals and a certain religious community,” the Palembang District Court said in its ruling on Tuesday, according to Jakarta Globe. Lutfiawati was also ordered to pay 250 million Indonesian rupiah ($16,230). The judge said that her sentence would be extended by three months if she fails to pay the fine.
Lutfiawati, known online as Lina Mukherjee, had apologized before the trial began. “I know I was wrong but I really did not expect this punishment,” she told reporters outside the courthouse, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
“No human is perfect. In the future, I will only produce funny content that doesn’t offend people,” she added.
The video that got the influencer in trouble was uploaded in March. Lutfiawati filmed herself saying ‘Bismillah’ (‘In the name of Allah’) before trying pork rinds. The TikToker, who herself identifies as Muslim, said she was “curious” about the taste of pork.
The clip went viral, garnering millions of views, and caught the attention of conservative groups, including the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s top Mulsim clerical body, which called the woman’s actions “blasphemous.” Lutfiawati was eventually reported to the police and charged under the country’s blasphemy laws.
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, where 231 million, or 93% of its adult population, say that their religion is Islam. The current law bans offenses against Indonesia’s six officially recognized religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Confucianism.
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