She was 100% fed up and had tears pouring down her face as the officers lead her to jail thanks to the ruling by a judge who decided that she was more in violation than the disruptive mosque that she was complaining about. Just think – she’s the one who came in with the complaint about a public disturbance in her neighborhood, but she’s the one facing jail time. Funny how that works, right? Not so much!

Her name is Meiliana and she’s a 44-year-old Chinese woman who just wanted some peace and quiet. She complained that the mosque in her neighborhood was playing their call to prayer too loud and it was going on five times per day. In many neighborhoods, it would be considered a noise violation to constantly play something at higher than acceptable noise levels. In this case, the woman filing the complaint turned out to be the one in front of the judge. She found herself facing judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo who decided that Meiliana would spend 18 months in prison based on her committing a so-called blasphemy law against the Islam religion. Thankfully this occurred in the North Sumatra area of Indonesia, where the Muslim culture is widespread, but this should not be happening anywhere. Residents of any town deserve to have a quiet neighborhood that isn’t disrupted by loudspeakers multiple times per day. All she wanted was some peace and quiet.

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Does she belong in jail? Most people would say no. How can a judge imprison a woman for wanting a quiet neighborhood that isn’t disturbed five times per day? How is it insulting to the religion of Islam if a woman just wants some quiet in her neighborhood? She isn’t insulting them, but she’s asking them to turn it down a notch so the whole town doesn’t have to listen to it.

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The Independent reported: “An Indonesian court has sentenced a Buddhist woman to 18 months in prison for blasphemy after she was accused of insulting Islam.

Meiliana, a 44-year-old ethnic Chinese woman, had complained the Muslim call to prayer, which is repeated five times a day, was being played too loudly at the mosque near her house in North Sumatra.

She burst into tears as the presiding judge, Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo announced her sentence on Tuesday and she was taken from the court in handcuffs.

Prosecutors alleged she had violated the country’s criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam, the dominant faith in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Recent years have seen a rise in conservative and hardline interpretations of Islam, prompting fears the secular nation’s long-standing reputation for tolerance and diversity was being eroded.

“She had said something that insulted religion, in this case Islam,” said Jamaluddin, a spokesman of the Medan district court, adding the defendant had “showed remorse and apologised”

Some Islamic people believed that her sentence was too short, as their maximum sentence is five-years according to reports. Just imagine going to jail because you want a quiet neighborhood that isn’t blasting their services over loudspeakers five times per day. Many people might suggest that she moves, but that’s not always an option depending on people’s situations.

“There are hundreds of thousands of mosques across the vast archipelago and most use loudspeakers to play the “azan” or call to prayer, which lasts a few minutes.

But many also play lengthy versions of prayers or sermons lasting over 30 minutes, which has been deemed unnecessary by the Indonesian Mosque Council.”

They plan to appeal the decision by the judge and get her out of the jail sentence.

They wish to prove to the judge that the prosecution did not effectively prove blasphemy over a noise complaint.

Complaining about noise is not the same thing as insulting a religion, therefore her sentence should be turned over immediately.

Of course, you know how that goes – it all depends on the judge.


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