Footloose, Muslim-Style

The killingest of the buzzkill faiths strikes again:

Five Indonesian teenage girls have been accused of blasphemy and may face jail after making a video in which they mixed Islamic prayer with dancing to a Maroon 5 song. The girls were expelled from their high school in Tolitoli city, on Sulawesi island, and reported to police after the video of their dance to the US band’s hit “One More Night” went viral online.

The school brought the video, which was posted online in March, to the attention of police who questioned the girls on suspicion of blasphemy. “The school and members of the community were offended by the video and felt it insulted Islam,” Tolitoli police chief Rudi Mulyanto told AFP. “We are considering the case, and if we think it is serious, we will recommend they be officially charged in court.”


Blasphemy in Indonesia carries a maximum sentence of five years, though minors usually face half the adult sentence and are locked up in juvenile detention facilities. The girls are in grade 12, where students are normally aged 17 or 18. Police did not give their ages but said they were being treated as minors. The school principal told a local news website that the school had consulted the country’s top clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, as well as the FPI on the matter.

The FPI notification makes this case especially worrisome. FPI stands for Front Pembela Islam, the Islamic Defenders Front. The paramilitary group is known for “rampant violence” in the ostensible defense of Islam. Its targets have included Playboy Indonesia, shops that sell alcohol, restaurants that remain open during Ramadan’s daylight hours, and Christian churches.

FPI’s demonstrations of faith range from incitement to property destruction to manslaughter.

[image via the Herald Sun]