Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Bloody Blasphemy: Antagonizing Religious Minorities in Indonesia and Pakistan

Endy Bayuni

March 2011

East-West Center


Blasphemy can be a deadly affair in Indonesia and Pakistan, two of Asia's largest Muslim-majority countries. Triggered by allegations of blasphemy, virulent mob attacks against those perceived to have offended Islam have rocked the two countries in recent months. While Indonesia and Pakistan have laws that specifically address issues of blasphemy, those unfortunate enough to be labeled blasphemers are rarely taken to court. Encouraged by, if not with tacit approval from, conservative Muslim leaders, Indonesian and Pakistani mobs have been taking the law into their own hands instead. Endy Bayuni analyzes recent incidents of violence in regards to religious minorities in Indonesia and Pakistan.