Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Libel suit against Mujahiddin

JAKARTA: The Utan Kayu Islamic Community filed on Tuesday a libel suit against Muslim hard-line group, the Mujahiddin Council.

Coordinator of the community Ulil Abshar-Abdalla said the council, in this case Fauzan al-Anshari, had accused the community during interviews with the media of misleading Muslims in the country with its advertisement on SCTV television channel.

"They (the council) have accused us of disgracing Islam. We think they have named themselves "the judge" who hold the authority to determine whether an action discredits Islam," Ulil said in a statement.

Ulil went to the Jakarta Police on Tuesday to file the lawsuit.

The case centers on the council's advertisement to promote democracy in Islam. SCTV stopped running the ad, titled "Colorful Islam", following a rebuke from the Mujahiddin Council on Aug. 4.

Ulil said he respected the reprimand as freedom of expression, but regretted its content, which he said had discouraged people from exercising their freedom. -- JP