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Indonesian Muslim Cleric Gets Minimal Jail Time for Inciting Mob Against Christian

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"I hope all who blame me get cursed by God."

Police stand guard outside the trial.

Some of you may recall the violent Indonesian mob that destroyed two churches and attacked a Christian school in reaction to a "lenient" (five years, the max) prison sentence for a man who handed out leaflets calling Islam a violent religion. Over a thousand Muslims rioted to express their outrage that the court failed to sentence the offending Christian, Antonius Banwengan, to death.

Tuesday, the cleric who incited that mob was sentenced to less than a year in prison. For the charge of incitement he faced a maximum sentence of six years, as well as seven years for a second charge of mob violence.

But guess what? He thinks that's unfair and plans to appeal, despite the fact that he could be out in a few months anyway.

So let's review: the Christian got five years (the maximum) for handing out pamphlets. The cleric called for violence and assisted the rioters. He got less than one year for inciting a rampaging mob after facing a possible thirteen-year sentence. And he thinks that's unfair. Anyone see a trend?

According to the Jakarta City News, the lead prosecutor stated the mitigating circumstances in favor of a lighter sentence included the facts that the cleric had no prior convictions and runs an Islamic boarding school.

Perhaps it's time to coin a new phrase -- "Jakarta justice."

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