A popular Indonesian TikTok influencer has been sentenced to two years in jail over posting a video, where she said an Islamic phrase before eating pork.
Lina Lutfiawati, 33, who has over 2 million followers on the social media platform, was found guilty by a court in the city of Palembang of “spreading information intended to incite hate”.
In March, Lutfiawati, who like most of the country’s population identifies as Muslim, shared a video of her eating crispy pork skin before saying the phrase “Bismillah” which in Arabic means “In the name of God” and is routinely said prior to eating, among other actions. Consuming or touching the blood or flesh of swine is forbidden in Islam.
Indonesian influencer sentenced to 2 years in prison for saying ‘Bismillah’ before eating pork.
In Arabic “Bismillah” means “In the name of Allah” and pork is forbidden for Muslims. pic.twitter.com/oR1BTYMkiT
— Censored Men (@CensoredMen) September 20, 2023
The video was filmed on a visit to the popular tourist destination of Bali (which has a majority Hindu population) and garnered millions of views, eventually catching the attention of the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI), the country’s top Muslim clerical body, which condemned it as blasphemous. She was also reported to the police for “knowingly eating pork as a Muslim”.
The content creator said in the video that she tried pork out of curiosity and after the verdict told local news station, MetroTV, “I know that I am wrong but I did not expect this punishment.”
In addition to the jail term, the court ordered her to pay a fine of $16,249.59 (250 million Indonesian rupiah) or face an extra three months in prison. During the trial last month, Lutfiawati made an apology to “all Indonesian people for causing a commotion”.