Indonesia Launches State App To Track Religious “Heresy”

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Indonesia Launches State App To Track Religious “Heresy”

KOMPAS.com/ RINDI NURIS VELAROSDELA

In Indonesia, it appears that not only a given religion’s deity keeps track of people’s actions and judges them, but now a state-backed app can also be used to report religious “heresy”.

The app is called “Smart Pakem,” and it is a free download from the Google Play Store. It gives the user the ability to report groups practicing religions not officially recognized by the state, as well as unorthodox interpretations of Indonesia’s six official religions, which include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

The app will also list religious edicts and blacklisted organizations and will allow users to file complaints instantaneously, instead of going through a tiresome bureaucratic process of submitting a written accusation to a government office.

“The objective…is to provide easier access to information about the spread of beliefs in Indonesia, to educate the public and to prevent them from following doctrines from an individual or a group that are not in line with the regulations,” Nirwan Nawawi, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, told AFP in a statement.

Human rights groups expressed concern that powerful hardline Islamic groups may misuse the app and further widen divisions in the country, in which harassment of religious and other minorities is a common occurrence.

“This is going from bad to worse — another dangerous step to discriminate religious minorities in Indonesia,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono.

Heresy in Indonesia is no small crime, it can send an individual to prison or even receive a more serious verdict. As RT reported “a wide-ranging blasphemy law saw one Chinese Buddhist jailed this summer for requesting the mosque in her neighborhood lower the volume of its daily prayer call.”

Hundreds of thousands of people in the close to 270 million population country adhere to non-recognized animist and mystical faiths have long been discriminated and had their access to public services limited.

According to the AP, in 2018, “an angry mob rampaged through a small community of the Ahmadiyya Islamic minority on the island of Lombok, destroying homes and forcing dozens of members to flee.” The religious sect has been declared heretical by the Indonesian Ulema Counci(MUI).

One of the purposes of the app is to track and detect movements of the ISIS branch in Indonesia, since ISIS members also practice a “non-traditional” interpretation of Islam. However, even members of Indonesia’s Muslim majority have expressed concerns about the possible results of such reporting power in the hands of normal citizens.

Amiruddin Al-Rahab of the National Commission on Human Rights expressed concern that the app could “have a dangerous consequence by causing social disintegration. When neighbors are reporting each other, that would be problematic.”

However, on the other hand this is a great idea for other governments too – if you can’t afford sophisticated and widely-diffused supervision equipment such as CCTV cameras among other means, it may be a good idea to create a simple app that allows for people to monitor and report each other. This would save plenty of effort and resources for government’s who are set on constant and tight supervision.

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  • Daniel Miller

    Nut jobs

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    yes indeed great idea turning all the sheeple into informers for the globalization and the same idiots who vote for them are also their willing victims to do the dirty job for them thinking they do their patriotic duty.

    • IMHO

      They do the same thing in the U.S. but only under a different guise.
      “See your neighbor doing something “suspicious”? Call the cops.” “Suspicious”

      • S Melanson

        They actually have gone further than that. CoIntelPro 2

      • Tommy Jensen

        The problem is what people are doing in their bed rooms.
        Because it is here people are making bombing devices that kill dozens of innocent people in a market place.
        If people are going to bed already at 22:00 its because they are up to something illegal they want to hide.

  • Lazy Gamer

    Indonesia started out as animists. im sure they have legends of spirits, and fairies.

  • IMHO

    Heresy? Really? LOL Six different recognized religions and you are going to get someone for heresy?

  • S Melanson

    “However, on the other hand this is a great idea for other governments too – if you can’t afford sophisticated and widely-diffused supervision equipment such as CCTV cameras among other means, it may be a good idea to create a simple app that allows for people to monitor and report each other. This would save plenty of effort and resources for government’s who are set on constant and tight supervision”

    Well just set up STASI in every country, get the citizens to do the dirty work for you and destroy completely the social fabric for generations Actually the US has it already – CoIntelPro II and its spin offs.

    Hopefully those running it have realised how out of control it got…

    • Barba_Papa

      You don’t need to set up anything. All you need to do is have a chat with Facebook to make them see the wisdom of being on good terms with you if they want to do business in your country and BAM! Instant spy app telling you everything you need to know.

      • S Melanson

        true but it lacks that special personal touch. Nothing better than getting a person’s family, friends and co-workers actively destroying every aspect of that person’s life

        • Barba_Papa

          You are a very cruel person. ;-)

  • Brother Thomas

    One would think that God – being almighty, omnipotent, and omnipresent – could handle a few measly insults by humans by Himself/Herself. Those who fret about petty heresies and turn hysterical about blasphemy are the true non-believers and insult God.

  • zman

    The state defining what is or is not heresy and enforcing religious ‘values’. What could possibly go wrong? See KSA Wahabbism/ Spanish inquisition.

  • Rafik Chauhan

    what about shia islam in indonesia as this whbhai run country hate shia muslim bcuz they carry pure islam of Prophet and his flesh and blood imam.

    • goingbrokes

      Yes, I imagine that this is wahhabi inspired (and financed) app to create blacklists of people who are not sympathetic to the wahhabi policies. I don’t think this has much to do with any “heresy”, but wahhabi heresy.