A new Android app has launched with the focus of allowing Muslims to report individuals who commit blasphemy, or insult Islam.
No, this is not a joke. The app, “Smart Pakem”, which launched in Indonesia last month at the request of the Indonesian government, will allow users and government officials to uphold Sharia law and target and report people who hold “misguided” beliefs in violation of Islamic law, which forbids insults of Islam, insults against the Prophet Mohammed, or the recognition of any other religion besides Islam.
Indonesia’s criminal code prohibits blasphemy, which is defined as “the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things”.
The Code’s Article 156(a) targets those who deliberately, in public, “express feelings of hostility, hatred, or contempt against religion”. The penalty for violating Article 156(a) of Indonesia’s criminal code is a maximum of five years imprisonment.
Rajan Anandan, who serves as the VP of Google in south-east Asia, has not shown any resistance to the app, which is available in the Google app store.
The National Secular Society (NSS) has since written to Anadan requesting the Google not stock the app in the app store, arguing that the app will have negative consequences for religious minorities and will further minimize freedom of expression.