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An Indonesian woman will be going to jail for 18 months on charges of blasphemy.

Her crime? She said a local mosque’s speakers were really loud and… that’s it.

The ethnic Chinese woman, Meiliana, burst into tears as presiding Judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo announced the sentence Tuesday. She was taken from the court in handcuffs.

Mobs burned and ransacked at least 14 Buddhist temples throughout Tanjung Balai, a port town on Sumatra, in a July 2016 riot following reports of Meiliana’s complaint about a mosque’s noisy loudspeakers.

Maybe (hear me out here) only those mobs should be persecuted instead of the woman who felt the mosque could’ve been quieter. She didn’t say Islam is false. She didn’t criticize Muhammad. She said her ears were hurting. That, somehow, counts as an assault on the Muslim faith.

But what else do you expect when the religious mobs run the justice system, too?

I guess we’re supposed to feel like she got off lightly given that a group called Islamic Community Forum was calling for a harsher sentence. Meiliana’s lawyer said the verdict would be appealed, though it’s unclear if there’s any chance of it actually getting overturned.

What she did wasn’t blasphemy. And even if it was, blasphemy is a victimless crime.

This is just faith-based hate masquerading as justice.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Terry and Brian for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.